Many businesses and community organisations have suspended all or some of their services to heed the government’s call to stay at home as a way of tackling the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) epidemic, but some services at Caritas Macau are among those that are still running.
Even the government is currently providing only “urgent” services to the general public. The measure is scheduled to last at least until the end of this week.
Caritas Macau Secretary-General Paul Pun Chi Meng told the Macau Post Daily last week that 15 of his Roman-Catholic organisation’s homes such as for senior citizens, people in rehabilitation, the homeless, half-way houses and young people are still in service.
Pun said that other services such as its shuttle bus and taxi services for people with disabilities or for people who need to go to the hospital for dialysis are also still operating.
According to Pun, the association’s home-care service continues to provide meals and daily care to live-alone and frail seniors, as well as its nursing service for the cleaning of wounds, injections and showering assistance.
In addition, its “Life Hope Hotline” and 24-hour helpline remain open, and its food bank continues to distribute food to families in need.
Pun pointed out that Caritas has bought and allocated products to protect staff from being infected from the virus when they are providing these services, and also has urged staff who don’t need to work because of suspension of their part of the services to be on standby to assist, when necessary, the services that are still on-going.
‘Society needs to be accepting’
“We have made preparations so that we can minimise the impact of the development of the virus, do what we can so as not to put an additional burden on society,” Pun said, adding: “As the virus situation is becoming more critical, society needs be to remain calm, tolerant, accepting, and be kind to everyone.
“As we’re tackling the virus, we tend to be self-protective and going out less. Fewer visits are being paid to people who need care the most, and it’ll be hard for them to look for help when they have a problem,” Pun said, explaining why Caritas needs to maintain certain social assistance services.