By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) - Christians in impoverished parts of Indonesia appeal for food and essential hospital equipment as the second wave of COVID-19 engulfs the world’s largest Muslim nation, aid workers say.
Christian aid and advocacy group Barnabas Fund told Worthy News it learned from a Christian leader that “The COVID rage” in Indonesia is “an emergency and uncontrollable.”
The leader added that “It’s very much troubling. We pray and pray for His mercy.”
Another message of Christians reportedly said: “If Barnabas Fund would consider doing something meaningful and strategic to the Christian hospitals and patients … this is indeed the Kairos time of God.”
Barnabas Fund said the situation is dire in East Nusa Tenggara, a mainly Christian province in Indonesia. It noted that the province is “impoverished, remote and under-resourced” by the predominantly Muslim government.
Barnabas Fund urged donors to help it “say “yes” to “repeated desperate requests for help from a Covid-designated hospital there.”
Indonesian Christians reportedly also ask for food aid. Barnabas Fund said it was crucial to help “feed hungry Indonesian Christians to stave off their hunger and strengthen their bodies to resist the virus.”
Earlier the Red Cross warned that Indonesia was “on the brink of catastrophe,” expressing concern about the “escalating Covid-19 disaster.”
The “extra-infectious Delta variant is racing through the population” of Indonesia, Barnabas Fund explained.
The appeals came as dozens of coronavirus patients died after a public hospital on Indonesia’s main island of Java ran out of liquid oxygen amid a nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases, officials said.
At least 33 patients with severe coronavirus infections reportedly died after the central supply of liquid medical oxygen ran out late Saturday.
The troubles at Dr. Sardjito General Hospital in Yogyakarta city were linked to delays from suppliers over the weekend, added hospital spokesman Banu Hermawan in published remarks.
In Indonesia, more than 60,000 deaths were linked to the coronavirus pandemic on a population of more than 275-million people. Most of the victims were older adults with underlying health conditions, several sources say.
However, the nation, where many live in poverty, has been facing health sector difficulties.
Besides social tensions, Christians also suffer persecution in Indonesia. Churches have been attacked, and several believers were killed amid rising Islamic extremism, according to rights groups.