MANILA – Amid the rising number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has declared the fourth week of March 2020 as the “National Week of Prayer.”
Under Proclamation 934 he signed on March 21, Duterte asked his fellow Filipinos to offer prayers during the fourth week of March in a bid to “defeat this invisible enemy, with the aid and blessing of God.”
“During the aforesaid week, I urge all Filipinos of all faiths, religious traditions and backgrounds to unite our hearts in prayer as we face the Covid-19 threat, fixing our eyes on the Almighty in this time of affliction,” he said in his presidential proclamation.
Duterte made the call as he noted that the State recognizes the “religious nature of the Filipino people and the vital role of faith in bringing about peace, solidarity, compassion and heroism in times of adversity.”
The Department of Health reported that the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country already rose to 380, as of Saturday.
The World Health Organization has characterized the Covid-19 outbreak as pandemic amid the rise in global cases of the novel coronavirus.
Duterte enjoined everyone to pray for the recovery of the people infected with Covid-19.
He also urged the public to pray for the comfort of people who lost their loved ones due to Covid-19, as well as for the protection of all, especially the most vulnerable sectors of society.
Duterte likewise encouraged the entire nation to pray for the safety of the frontliners who are helping the government to stop the transmission of Covid-19.
“Pray also for strength and endurance for our outstanding medical professionals and health workers on the frontline, your military and law enforcement officers, the government officials and personnel dealing with the present threat, and all Filipinos who are working tirelessly to protect our communities, sacrificing their lives in the service of the country,” he said.
Duterte earlier signed Proclamations 922 and 929, declaring a state of public health emergency and a state of calamity in the entire country amid the threat posed by Covid-19.
He also placed the entire Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine until April 12 in an effort to stop the further spread of Covid-19.
Under enhanced community quarantine policy, over 53 million people in Luzon are required to stay home and limit their movements to accessing basic necessities.
Most work and mass public transportation are suspended during the month-long community quarantine. (PNA)