Tashkent (Agenzia Fides) - The first cases of Covid-19, and the related measures for the containment of the virus, have also reached Central Asia, causing the cancellation of the spiritual exercises of the Bishops of the region, which should have been carried out from 9 to 16 March 2020 in Turkmenistan. This is what the Apostolic Administrator of Uzbekistan, Franciscan Fr. Jerzy Maculewicz says to Agenzia Fides, also reporting that he has suspended the celebrations of the local Church to respond to government requests to cancel all public events.
The Bishops of Central Asia therefore lived their spiritual exercises in a personal way, each in their own home, but united in a communion of prayer in this moment of world health crisis. The Jesuit Fr. Anthony Corcoran, Apostolic Administrator of Kyrgyzstan: "We decided to cancel the appointment, but we reflected and prayed intensely here in Bishkek with the Jesuits, especially for all those who are in Italy, stuck in their homes or in a hospital bed, and for the sick all over the world. In these days we carried out the spiritual exercises in the manner of St. Ignatius of Loyola also through the use of the Skype application, so that anyone can join in the prayer". "I want to tell everyone that the coronavirus will not have the last word, Jesus will have it", added Fr. Corcoran.
According to the latest data provided by the World Health Organization, there are currently 33 cases in Kazakhstan, 16 in Uzbeksitan, 3 in Kyrgyzstan and 22 in neighboring Afghanistan. On the other hand, there have been no cases of contagion in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. (LF-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 20/3/2020)