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Russia: Caritas, “Week of Mercy”. Initiatives for homeless in Moscow. Covid spiking, Putin introduces lockdown in the capital

In the run-up to the World Day of the Poor (15 November), Caritas Russia is living the “Week of Mercy” with a series of initiatives and events planned in several cities from 9 to 15 November. According to Caritas workers who operate in the Russian capital to alleviate the problems facing the homeless, “due to the pandemic, there are even more people on the streets who have lost their jobs and cannot afford a rent”. To overcome their critical situation, “they often lack very simple things: to be clean, to sleep well, to have a travel card, a mobile phone and a SIM card”. This is why, in these days, Moscow residents are invited to give money to buy kits with essential items for personal hygiene and to donate their old but still working mobile phones “that might help a person in difficult circumstances find a job”. St. Petersburg, by contrast, is hosting “a ceramics master class” organized by the charity “Dobrodela St. Petersburg” and a concert for children attending the children’s centre run by Caritas “Ostrovok”. Also, an online conference with the intervention of the vicar of Moscow, Kirill Gorbunov, is scheduled for today on the theme of Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical “Deus Caritas est”. In the meantime, Covid-19 cases are spiking in Russia: in the last 24 hours, 19,851 new cases and 432 deaths were recorded. A curfew will be imposed in Moscow from 13 November to 15 January forcing all bars, restaurants and night clubs to close between 11p.m. and 6a.m. Universities and higher institutes, too, will stay closed.

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