By Linda Bordoni
Christian organizations are joining other relief agencies across the globe in a concerted response to the coronavirus pandemic crisis.
Providing life-saving medical assistance and equipment to particularly hard-hit communities in northern Italy is Samaritan’s Purse, which has airlifted a 68-bed Emergency Field Hospital to the city of Cremona, near Milan.
The nondenominational evangelical Christian organization’s mission is to provide spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.
Notwithstanding stringent lockdown measures, the number of novel coronavirus cases in Italy is rising at a rate of around 3,500 new cases or more every day, and the death toll has topped 2,900.
A Samaritan’s Purse team is on the ground in Cremona, about 90 kilometres from Milan, setting up a mobile facility with approximately 20 tons of medical equipment, a respiratory care unit developed specifically for this response, and 32 disaster relief personnel, including doctors and nurses, who will stay in the country for at least a month.
About two-thirds of all coronavirus deaths in Italy have been in the Lombardy region, where both Cremona and Milan are located, and the need for intensive care beds has quickly overwhelmed the capacity of the local healthcare system.
Providing care in the name of Jesus Christ
Samaritan’s Purse is the first international organization to provide emergency medical relief to families impacted by this deadly virus in northern Italy.
The organization’s President, Franklyn Graham, says “Not only are we providing skilled emergency medical care, our staff is working alongside local evangelical churches and chaplains to bring spiritual comfort and the hope found only in the Gospel.”
Operating since 1970, Samaritan's Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease and famine throughout the world, providing food, water, shelter, medicine, and other assistance in the Name of Jesus Christ.