The religious leaders call on Mauritians to unite in order to defeat the common enemy, COVID-19, that has forced countries to adopt stringent measures to keep the population safe.
“With one voice, let us unite our hearts in prayer and implore the Almighty to hear our prayers, hear our cries of despair and come to our aid for us to defeat our enemy,” the religious leaders further state and add, “It is time to show that faith is part of preventive and proactive actions to protect each other.”
The Indian Ocean island nation has at least 88 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and recorded the first death linked to the deadly virus on March 21.
Reacting to news of the confirmed cases of the virus in the country, the Bishop of Port Louis diocese, Maurice Cardinal Piat, in an earlier statement, appealed for calm.
The government has also put in place stringent measures to avoid the spread of the virus, including a curfew order, closing of national borders, and reduction of public gatherings, amongst others.
“This Covid-19 pandemic seems to plunge us into a new and unreal reality, so much so that it impacts on our ways of life, individual, collective and global,” the religious leaders note in their collective statement and add, “All of us Mauritians, as everywhere else in the world, are currently living in an unprecedented situation.”
According to them, COVID-19 pandemic “concerns all of us, human beings, believers or not, practicing or not, from all cultural, religious and philosophical horizons. Women and men of all religions that we are living an experience that upsets us even in the intimacy of our life of faith.”
The leaders from different faiths have also appealed to the consciences of Mauritians to avoid practices that will bring suffering to the people in the midst of this crisis.
“We must awaken consciences against any risk of slippage that would make us the wrong enemy, any trap that would lead us to drifts against our neighbor, our fellow citizens,” the religious leaders have stated.
Addressing the challenge of discrimination and fear currently associated with COVID-19, the spiritual leaders note, “We must guard against any stigmatization and protect people against discriminatory practices resulting from prejudice, misinformation or hysteria due to the virus.”