In connection with the spread of the coronavirus epidemic in several countries of the world, Metropolitan Hilarion, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations (DECR) of the Moscow Patriarchate, spoke about the danger of panic in any difficult situation.
“Each country that faces this problem must take exceptional, extraordinary measures. But the virus of panic is spreading, including through the media, because people talk and write about it a lot. And even if the coronavirus has not reached a particular country, an atmosphere of panic is created there from messages about what is happening in other states, including in the neighboring ones,” said His Beatitude Hilarion, reports the press service of the Synodal Department for Church Relations with Society and the Media.
As the metropolitan emphasized, it is not panic that helps in such a situation, but “the effective use of medicaments, including preventive ones, the measures taken by governmental agencies, including flight cancellation with those countries where there is an outbreak of the virus, and checking everyone who comes to the country from infected areas”.
Metropolitan Hilarion said that he also underwent a similar check when he visited Italy not so long ago.
“I think that such measures are necessary. But no one needs panic. It is very harmful not only for the internal state of those people who succumb to panic moods, but also for the entire surrounding society,” added the head of the DECR.
With regard to the actions of believers in this situation, Metropolitan Hilarion noted, “believers should pray that this epidemic ceases as soon as possible, and that those countries affected by the epidemic return to normal life as soon as possible”.
Earlier the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized the outbreak of the new coronavirus as an emergency in the field of public health of international importance.
A prayer service for deliverance from the coronavirus epidemic will be performed weekly at the Chinese Patriarchal Metochion, at St. Nicholas Church in Golutvin, in Moscow. Likewise, special Services of Intercession take place at the Annunciation Cathedral in Blagoveshchensk and in all parishes of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Southeast Asia.
According to the Patriarchal Exarch of Western Europe, Metropolitan Anthony of Korsun and Western Europe, the clergy of Russian parishes in Italy have been instructed to comply with local governmental directives aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.