Archbishop Moses Costa of the Chittagong Archdiocese has tested positive for the new coronavirus, the first known member of the clergy in Bangladesh to be infected with the disease.
Attending physicians said the archbishop “is now in a critical situation.”
“My request is to please pray for our Archbishop Moses Costa for his healing,” said Cardinal Patrick D’ Rozario of Bangladesh in a short message to the faithful.
“I can’t speak directly to Archbishop Costa, but I am getting daily updates from doctors and nurses,” he said.
The 70-year-old archbishop was admitted to Square Hospital on June 13.
Archbishop Costa 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 90,000 people and killed over 1,200 in Bangladesh.