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Pope Francis donates ventilators to Colombia after record number of COVID-19 deaths

April 21, 2021 Catholic News Agency 0
Pope Francis waves to pilgrims during his March 28, 2018 general audience in St. Peter’s Square. / Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

Vatican City, Apr 21, 2021 / 09:00 am (CNA).

Pope Francis has sent four ventilators to hospitals in Colombia after the South American country recorded its highest daily death rate since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Colombian health ministry, the country reported 420 deaths from COVID-19 in 24 hours April 20. More than 68,700 people have died from COVID-19 in Colombia since February 2020. The country has a population of 50 million people.

The donated ventilators from Pope Francis were also accompanied by boxes of personal protective equipment. The Colombian bishops’ conference said that the apostolic nuncio sent the medical equipment to hospitals in Quibdó, western Colombia.

The equipment was flown into the city with the help of the Colombian Air Force and the Military Ordinariate of Colombia.

Bishop Juan Carlos Barreto Barreto of Quibdó wrote in a note: “This gesture highlights the continuous solicitude of Pope Francis for Colombia in many areas and expresses his concern for all the Churches.”

During the coronavirus outbreak, Pope Francis has donated ventilators and other medical equipment to countries such as Brazil, Spain, and Romania.

In South America, fears are growing over the spread of the P.1 variant of COVID-19, also known as the Brazil variant, which recent research suggests is much more transmissible.

In March, Peru’s health minister said that 40% of cases in the capital city of Lima were caused by the Brazil variant. Cases of the new variant have also been detected in Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Argentina.


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Colombian bishop responds to cathedral vandalism

March 11, 2021 CNA Daily News 0

Ibague, Colombia, Mar 11, 2021 / 06:13 pm (CNA).- A Colombian archbishop condemned an attack against a local cathedral March 8 by a group of radical pro-abortion feminists.Archbishop Orlando Roa Barbosa of Ibagué said in a statement that the Church “wi… […]

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Colombian bishop, 74, dies from COVID-19 complications

January 12, 2021 CNA Daily News 1

Bogotá, Colombia, Jan 12, 2021 / 04:57 pm (CNA).- The Colombian diocese of Santa Marta announced on Tuesday that Bishop Luis Adriano Piedrahita Sandoval, 74, died January 11 of complications from COVID-19.

“With deep sorrow and pain, but with our hope placed in Our Lord Jesus Christ, conqueror of death and sin, we communicate to you that at 5:15 p.m. our bishop, Monsignor Luis Adriano Piedrahita Sandoval, has been called to the House of the Father,” the diocese said in a statement.

The bells of all local churches will toll on Tuesday, the diocese said. Funeral arrangements for the bishop have not yet been announced, but will include stringent social distancing requirements and other safety protocols.

Luz Marina Medina, communication director for the Colombian Bishops Conference, confirmed to ACI Prensa that Piedrahita Sandoval is the first Colombian bishop to die of COVID-19.

“We pray for the repose of his soul, and we also pray for another bishop in very serious condition also in Santa Marta, Bishop emeritus Ugo Puccini,” Medina said.

Bishop Piedrahita Sandoval was born on October 7, 1946 and was ordained a priest on October 29, 1972. In 1999, he became auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Cali, and on August 5, 2014, Pope Francis appointed him Bishop of Santa Marta, on Colombia’s Caribbean coast.

After a new spike in COVID-19 cases – with up to 400 deaths per day – many parts of Colombia have returned to lockdowns.

President Iván Duque announced that vaccinations would begin in January, but Minister of Health Fernando Ruiz said on January 10 that “no date is set” because no arrangements have been solidified with vaccine suppliers.