Haiti, “many people don’t believe the disease exists in the country”

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(Port au Prince) – From Haiti, we received some information regarding what is happening in Haiti at the political and religious level.

As it was already known, more than a month ago the first positive cases of the corona virus were identified on the national territory. After this month, according to the information bulletins of the Ministry of Public Health and Population, we count for now up to 76 confirmed cases, 8 cured persons and 6 deaths.

For many, looking at this figure, one can understand that the virus is spreading slowly in the country so far. However, according to the experts of the country’s scientific cell, in particular Dr. Jacques Boncy: “there will come a time when the cases of contamination will increase dramatically”.

Like the director of the national epidemiology laboratory, we are concerned about the population’s reaction because many people do not believe the disease exists in the country, so they do not comply with protection standards. “We are sorry to see that the behavior has not really changed. Traders were demonstrating in the streets, people are playing football in the streets, churches are holding worship services again,” said Dr Patrick Delly.

However, it can be said that the experts’ predictions for Haiti regarding this pandemic can occur in all their brutality or simply avoid us, since the country has weaknesses that seem to condemn it. But also who is protecting it.

Aware of all that, we as Redemptorists continue to respect the same protocols issued by the authorities, which is why we are closing our parish schools. Even though the Ministry of Education runs a training program on line and through state television, this program is not available to everyone for various reasons (lack of electricity and internet). As for the parishes, we hold the services there with about ten parishioners and we broadcast them on social networks and as much as possible we share the little we have with the more humble people.

While we wait for a scientific solution to this pandemic, we continue to raise awareness among the population to respect barrier gestures such as washing hands, not coughing or sneezing into the hand and to distance themselves socially, to wear a mask and to reduce unnecessary travel, thus counteracting the spread of the virus.

In addition to COVID-19, there are other problems on the list of our headaches in the country. Economic activities have decreased in all the working groups of the Haitian diaspora. We are already seeing a decrease in transfers in the country due to the unemployment rate of Haitians living abroad.

Another major problem threatening the country is food insecurity, as indicators for internal and external reasons predict food insecurity for many countries, including Haiti. Experts add that our country is the most threatened in our hemisphere.
Through the intercession of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, patroness of Haiti, may the Lord continue to protect us so that these alarming predictions are not fulfilled in the country!

Fr. Renold Antoine C.Ss.R.

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