Bangladesh archbishop recovers from COVID-19

Archbishop Moses Costa of the Chittagong Archdiocese has recovered from the new coronavirus disease and his health condition has continued to improve.

“The health of [the archbishop] is improving, but very slowly,” Bishop Gervas Rozario of Rajshahi told the news agency AsiaNews.

“We are hopeful now. Thank God. I heard that he doesn’t to want to eat. I said to keep soup in a flask and give this to him instead of water so that he gets strength,” said the prelate.

Recent tests have already found the archbishop negative of the disease.

Bishop Rozario, vice president of the bishops’ conference, also reported that Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario, who was also admitted to the hospital due to dengue fever, is already in good condition.

He said the cardinal should be able to go home by the weekend.

Bishop Rozario called on the faithful to pray for the two sick bishops.

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, has earlier called on the faithful of Bangladesh to pray for Archbishop Costa, who has worked “tirelessly for the welfare of his sheep during the lockdown.”

On June 15, Archbishop Costa was found positive for the new coronavirus, the first known member of the clergy in Bangladesh to be infected with the disease and was rushed to hospital.

The 70-year-old archbishop is secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh and chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Healthcare Commission.

Before serving as archbishop of Chittagong, the prelate served as bishop of Chittagong and Dinajpur since 1996.

Chittagong was among the first of the eight Catholic dioceses in Bangladesh to issue COVID-19 health guidelines and closed all churches for public liturgy.

Bangladesh lifted the shutdown on May 31 and, since then, all dioceses except Chittagong have opened churches for public liturgy, including Masses.

Staff and clergy of the archdiocese have been advised to stay in isolation at home.

Chittagong, Bangladesh’s financial hub and second-largest city, has seen a rapid increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

The novel coronavirus has so far infected over 119,000 people and killed over 1,500 in Bangladesh.

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