Pope Francis has given his blessing to Hong Kong and China amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bishop Stephen Chow of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong visited the Pope in Rome in early March following his episcopal ordination. In a press release on Tuesday, the church said that Bishop Chow had requested blessing directly from the Pope.
“I send you my blessing; I wish you all the best; I wish you… good citizens, that you are courageous in the face of the challenges of [the] time. Above all, I am thinking of many of you who have suffered from the Covid pandemic, I am close to you,” Pope Francis said.
“This pandemic has killed so many people all over the world and also in your city, I am close to you. I will pray for you, and you, please pray for me,” he added.
The video, which runs for just over a minute, included images of the pandemic from the city, including shots of elderly people on beds outside overcrowded A&E departments.
With overstretched hospitals and a coffin shortage, Hong Kong has the highest Covid-19 death rate in the developed world.
The city reported 14,152 Covid-19 infections on Tuesday, of which 9,856 were from rapid tests. The city added another 245 deaths. In all, it has seen over a million cases and over 6,000 fatalities related to the pandemic.