Cabo Delgado is the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mozambique, adding to the problems the region has been suffering over the past three years.
The northernmost region of the African country, on the border with Tanzania, Cabo Delgado province was struck by a cyclone last year, is currently facing epidemics of malaria and cholera, and has a number of districts affected by a conflict between Muslim insurgents and the army. At least 160,00 people have been displaced by the fighting.
In the middle of this maelstrom, the Church is working hard to help.
Mozambique has now 316 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus, 146 of them in Cabo Delgado. Safety measures have been imposed by the authorities, but it’s difficult to comply with social distancing, given that many regions have been flooded with refugees from the districts impacted by the war.
“Here in Pemba [the capital of Cabo Delgado], most families are hosting a lot of people. Houses that used to accommodate 10 people now accommodate 20. People who haven’t been able to flee the war zone are hidden in the bushes, sleeping very close to each other. No one can avoid the infection this way,” said the Brazilian-born Bishop of Pemba, Luiz Fernando Lisboa.
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