ASIA/INDONESIA - The commitment of the Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo in the context of the pandemic

Thursday, 4 March 2021 pandemic   coronavirus   religious institutes   nuns  

Yogyakarta (Agenzia Fides) - It is a great day for the entire Congregation of the Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo: "We breathe a sigh of relief as 55 people in the St. Anna Convent in the city of Yogyakarta, in the province of Central Java (26 elderly nuns and 29 employees) have been cured of Covid-19", Sister Yustiana Wiwiek Iswanti, Provincial Superior of religious in Indonesia, told Agenzia Fides.
Treating and supportino all these Covid patients was a truly hard spiritual experience: "We transformed our St. Anna Convent into a temporary hospital for all Covid-19 patients as we could not send them to public facilities", says the nun. "We took care of the patients so that they would recover. We have received many signs of solidarity: financial aid, food and drink, nutrition and food supplements have arrived as donatins from our students and those who know our apostolate in the field of health and education", she says.
In Indonesia, the religious Congregation of the Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo is a very large community with dozens of educational and health services present in the major cities of Indonesia. For this reason, Sister Yustiana Wiwiek Iswanti CB decided to extend the care and assistance services to the John XXIII seminary in Lawang, in the diocese of Malang (East Java) where two priests, two nuns and 26 seminarians are confirmed positive for Covid-19.
"Some people are asked to practice self-quarantine while others are rushed to hospital", Father Aloysius Rusdiana, Dean of the Seminary, explains to Fides. He further states that in Malangm some 170 residents of the Yayasan Bhakti Luhur Institute for the Disabled are Covid-19 positive.
Indonesia marks the first anniversary of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, which recorded a total of 1.3 million positive cases, including 1.1 million recovered and more than 36 thousand deaths.
To fight the pandemic, the government has put in place substantial funding used mainly to keep health and public activity in operation but also to support small and medium-sized businesses and help families through measures such as the abolition of the VAT on the purchase of a house or a car. Grants and contributions are also provided for the tourism industry, the culture sector and transport.
The national economy has been hit hard. According to the Indonesian Statistic Bureau Agency (BPS), the poverty index is now 10.19%, marking an increase of 0.97% from the previous year.
In the meantime, the Indonesian health authorities have launched the first mass vaccination in which religious communities and the elderly have participated in the first place. Based on the characteristics of the country, an archipelago of thousands of islands and remote hard-to-reach places and over 250 million inhabitants, becomes a crucial point in understanding how long it will take to carry out a national immunization program. (MH-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 4/3/2021)