The Caritas family offers support and solidarity in the face of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Caritas Australia, part of one of the largest humanitarian networks in the world, Caritas Internationalis, has joined with other global members in offering support and prayers to people infected and affected by COVID-19.

The international network is still assessing its response, given that vulnerable communities globally are very likely to feel severe impacts of this outbreak.

A number of Caritas members are continuing their programming to support ongoing awareness and prevention within the communities where they work. This include leveraging existing programming focused on monitoring for infectious diseases and increasing increased local capacity around hygiene practices as part of the COVID 19 response strategy. 

Regional and country focal points, either directly or in collaboration with local partners are ensuring strong participation in local coordination units that are, in most cases, led by the Ministry of Health and WHO.   

Joint efforts are also underway including giving guidance on mental health and psycho-social support in response to COVID 19 for use by our Caritas partners and carrying out joint webinars that provide an overview of the virus.

WHO Director-General on Monday called for "solidarity to be the antidote to blame" and "our shared humanity to be the antidote to our shared threat."

 Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added that all countries must aim to stop transmission and prevent the spread of COVID-19, whether they face no cases, sporadic cases, clusters or community transmission. 

"Let hope be the antidote to fear," he said.

According to WHO COVID19 – more commonly known as Coronavirus – has infected tens of thousands of people in around 30 countries and is thought to have killed over 1,300 people in mainland China. There is currently no cure for the potentially deadly flu-like virus which emerged in late 2019.

“Today we are confronted with another form of emergency situation which is neither man-made nor natural, but rather an epidemic that we must face in calmness. We are ready to help the victims concerned and we are united in prayer with all those affected,” says Aloysius John, secretary general of Caritas Internationalis.

Image Credit : Caritas Hong Kong

Image Credit : Caritas Hong Kong