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At least 9 Catholic bishops have died from the coronavirus

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by Courtney Mares

Rome Newsroom, Jul 20, 2020 / 11:30 am MT (CNA).- At least nine Catholic bishops have died from the coronavirus worldwide as the pandemic continues to spread across the Americas.

Bishop Henrique Soares da Costa of Palmares, Brazil, became the latest bishop to die of COVID-19 on July 18. He died at the age of 57 after being hospitalized for more than two weeks of treatment in the intensive care unit of the St. Joseph Memorial Hospital in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco.

Da Costa is the third bishop in Brazil to die after contracting the coronavirus. The country’s COVID-19 outbreak has now exceeded two million cases. A total of five Brazilian bishops are believed to have contracted the coronavirus.

Archbishop Emeritus Pedro Ercílio Simon of Passo Fundo died at the age of 78 on June 1 of COVID-19, and Archbishop Emeritus Aldo Pagotto of Paraiba, who was already suffering from cancer, died of respiratory failure April 14 in an intensive care unit for coronavirus patients at the age of 70.

Sixty-six-year-old Bishop Eugenio Scarpellini of El Alto, Bolivia, died July 15 after contracting the coronavirus. A native of Italy, Scarpellini had served in the Bolivian diocese for 10 years.

In the United States, Boston auxiliary Bishop Emilio Allue died April 26 at the age of 85 of complications from COVID-19. Bishop Vincent Malone, 88, an auxiliary bishop of England’s Liverpool archdiocese, died May 18 after testing positive for the coronavirus a week prior.

At least two African bishops have died from the coronavirus. Bishop emeritus Gérard Mulumba Kalemba of Mweka, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, died April 15 at the age of 82 in a clinic in Kinshasa.

The bishop emeritus of Kenya’s Meru diocese, Bishop Silas Silvius Njiru, died in Turin, Italy, April 28 due to COVID-19 at the age of 91, according to the Consolata Missionaries.

The first bishop to die amid the coronavirus pandemic was Bishop Angelo Moreschi, an Italian bishop of a missionary region of Ethiopia’s Apostolic Vicariate of Gambella. Moreschi died at the age of 67 in Brescia, a city in Italy’s Lombardy region.

In addition, two bishops have died after recovering from the coronavirus. Chinese Bishop Joseph Zhu Baoyu died May 7, months after recovering from the coronavirus. The 98-year-old bishop of Nanyang diocese in Henan province was thought to have been the oldest person to survive the disease when he left hospital Feb. 14, according to UCAN News.

In Bangladesh Archbishop Moses Costa of Chittagong died in hospital July 13 from a series of strokes two weeks after recovering from COVID-19. He had tested positive for the coronavirus June 14 after being hospitalized in Dhaka for severe respiratory distress.

After treatment in the ICU, the bishop’s condition improved, leading him to test negative for COVID-19 on June 22. However, he was transferred back to the ICU on July 8 and suffered from multiple strokes caused by a brain hemorrhage, according to Vatican News. Costa died at the age of 69.

As of July 20, there have been more than 14.5 million documented cases of COVID-19 worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. At least 606,922 people have died in the pandemic.

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