By ZENIT Staff

Filipino Archbishop Bernardito Auza, apostolic nuncio to Spain, delivered three respirators and other medical supplies donated by Pope Francis to a hospital in Madrid, reported CBCP News.

According to Vatican News, the medical equipment was delivered to the San Rafael Hospital on April 26 in the presence of Madrid Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida.

Ventilators have become one of the top priorities in hospitals around the world amid the spread of coronavirus, a respiratory illness.

During the ceremony, Auza expressed the closeness and affection of the pope, his concerns for victims of the pandemic, and its negative impact on the social and economic sectors.

Along with the nuncio were Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra, archbishop of Madrid, and his auxiliary bishop, José Cobo Cano.

Auza, the former Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York, said that they were “very happily surprised” by the donation, “which has been well received.”

San Rafael, a “very big and referenced hospital” in Madrid, he said, has been “almost exclusively dedicated, since the start of the crisis, to the coronavirus victims”.

The donations included protective equipment for the health care workers of the hospital run by the religious Brothers of St. John of God.

The delivery of the respirators ended with a prayer in the hospital chapel for the victims of the pandemic and the sick.

Spain is the second country in the world most affected by the pandemic and with the city of Madrid as its epicenter.

As of April 27, the country recorded around 209,465 Covid-19 cases, while 100,875 have recovered. There have been over 23,521 deaths.

Pope Francis has been donating funds and medical equipment to countries, organizations, and healthcare centers dealing with the infection.

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