Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a new respiratory infection, has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). So far, more than 300,000 people around the world have tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 15,000 people have died, according to the WHO.
Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) is contributing to the relief operation in China. So far our contribution has helped provide more than 369 tons of disinfection supplies (disinfectant, hand sanitizer, etc.), a powered air-purifying respirator, 22,740 protective face shields, 2,240 pairs of goggles, 18,000 KN95 masks, 250,000 pairs of disposable inspection gloves and 10,000 coronavirus nucleic acid detection reagents. In addition, 130 ventilators, patient monitors, syringe pumps and infusion pumps, as well as daily necessities such as 6,000 bowls of instant noodles and 996 boxes of instant rice, were delivered to medical institutions and communities in Hubei Province.
Through its companion church, the Chiesa Evangelica Luterana in Italia, LDR is providing Betania Evangelical Hospital in Naples, Italy, with support and medical gear and supplies. LDR is also working in the West Bank with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jerusalem and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) to provide food and basic necessities to 100 families whose livelihoods have been affected. Other responses include working with the Lutheran World Federation to support frontline staff, working with the ACT Alliance on a global response and supporting the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sierra Leone so the church can participate in a national response plan with the government.
As the situation develops, LDR will be in communication with its companions and partners to assess the needs and provide support. In the United States, we anticipate this public health crisis will escalate in coming days and weeks and will affect many more individuals and families, particularly those who are most vulnerable in our communities. We stand ready to work with Lutheran social service organizations affiliated with LDR and with ELCA synods to address the needs of those impacted.
What you can do:
Please pray for our nation and the world as we face uncertainties. May God's healing presence bring peace and hope in this time of need. Pray that God will deliver comfort to those who mourn the loss of loved ones and strength to those who are working diligently to care for affected communities. For more prayer suggestions, click here.
Gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response’s general account enable us to respond quickly whenever and wherever disaster strikes. Give now.
To learn more about the situation and the ELCA’s response: