As of 15 June, Honduras had officially declared 8,858 cases of COVID-19, including 312 deaths, out of a population of nearly 10 million. Worryingly, numbers of cases appear to have been rising to their highest levels in recent days.
Honduras does not have the public health infrastructure necessary to overcome the challenges of a pandemic – which is why it quickly shut its borders as the pandemic began to travel through Central America. The spread of the disease in a country like Honduras would not only cause enormous socioeconomic harm domestically, but would also likely destabilize the region.
Since March, maritime, aerial, and land borders have been closed. All school classes have been suspended, and a nationwide curfew ordered.
Poverty and food scarcity are particularly severe in rural Honduras, where 16% of people lack access to safe water and the average annual income is well below $3,000. Nearly 15% of people struggle with malnutrition.
The majority of Hondurans are Catholic, though numbers have been declining in recent years and Protestant evangelicals increasing. Many of the people are deeply spiritual; a recent online video showed police on their knees praying for protection for their nation from the pandemic, and for themselves as they go out on the streets.
- Pray for the full recovery of those who are still suffering.
- Pray for the doctors, nurses and other medical staff as they battle the disease with limited resources.
- Pray for COVID-19 to be stopped in its tracks as it threatens to break out in ever larger numbers.
- Pray for the government to act wisely and responsibly, balancing law and order with the people’s well-being.
- Pray for Church leaders to give brave and clear leadership in the fight against the virus.
- Pray for a resolution to Honduras’ long-term problems of poverty, crime, disease (AIDS is rife) and political stability.