Christmas message: Pope prays for protection of disaster victims in PH, Vietnam
MANILA, Philippines — On Christmas Day, Pope Francis prayed for the protection of victims of typhoons in the Philippines and Vietnam amid the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic.
“May the King of Heaven protect all victims of natural disasters in Southeast Asia, especially in the Philippines and Vietnam, where numerous storms have caused flooding, with devastating repercussions on families in terms of loss of life, harm to the environment and consequences for local economies,” Pope Francis said in his traditional Christmas Day Urbi et Orbi speech in Vatican City on Friday.
Aside from the pandemic, Filipinos also bore the brunt of the impacts of three strong typhoons this year.
After Rolly, Typhoon Ulysses hit areas in Region II, CALABARZON, Bicol Region, Metro Manila and the Cordillera Administrative Region last November. Authorities said the typhoon killed over 73 people.
Typhoon Vicky, meanwhile, killed nine people and displaced thousands of families in parts of Visayas and Mindanao this December.
The Pope also urged nations’ leaders and other stakeholders to coordinate and distribute COVID-19 vaccines for all, especially for the most vulnerable.
“I ask everyone – government leaders, businesses, international organizations – to foster cooperation and not competition, and to seek a solution for everyone: vaccines for all, especially for the most vulnerable and needy of all regions of the planet. Before all others: the most vulnerable and needy!” said Francis.
On Christmas, the Department of Health logged 1,885 new cases of the severe respiratory disease, bringing the total count of COVID-19 infections to 467,601. Of the total case, 430,791 are recoveries while 9,062 are deaths.
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