Pope Francis has given the homeless a Christmas gift of a new clinic in St. Peter’s Square where they can get free medical help, the Vatican said on Saturday, announcing his latest move to help Rome’s destitute.
The Rome Catholic charity Caritas estimated late last year that there are more than 16,000 homeless in Rome and their number congregating near the Vatican has grown visibly in recent years, especially at night when they cluster under arcades to sleep.
The new clinic with three visiting rooms will be open three days a week and will be staffed by volunteer doctors from the Vatican medical services and Rome hospitals.
Foot specialists will be available once a week. Charities say homeless people suffer particularly from foot ailments because they rarely remove their socks and shoes, and also wear ill-fitting shoes, causing ailments such as fungal infections, blisters and calluses.
The new clinic replaces an older temporary one nearby, also set up by the 82-year-old Francis. He has also opened facilities where the homeless can bathe and get haircuts.
When it is not serving the homeless, the new clinic, built on the premises of the old Vatican post office, will serve as a first aid station for pilgrims and tourists.
WATCH: Franklin Graham tells Jeanine Pirro coronavirus pandemic is because of people sinning
Franklin Graham blamed sinners for the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic during a Saturday night appearance on Fox News.
Host Jeanine Pirro noted the growing death toll and wondered how God could let that happen.
"Well, I don't think it's God's plan for this to happen," Graham said.
"It's because of the sin that's in the world, judge," he argued.
"Man has turned his back on God, we have sinned against him, and we need to ask for God's forgiveness and that's what Easter's all about," he continued.
"This pandemic, this is the result of a fallen world that has turned its back on God," he added.
Drought causing water shortage amid coronavirus crisis in Chile
With historically low river flows and reservoirs running dry due to drought, people in central Chile have found themselves particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic.
Years of resource exploitation and lax legislation have allowed most reservoirs in that part of the country to run dry.
"There are now 400,000 families, nearly 1.5 million people approximately, whose supply of 50 liters of water a day depends on tankers," Rodrigo Mundaca, spokesman for the Movement for the Defense of Water, the Earth and the Protection of the Environment, told AFP.
One of the main pieces of advice to protect people against coronavirus is to wash your hands regularly.
Trump warns of ‘tough week’ ahead — after the United States surpassed 300,000 coronavirus victims
US President Donald Trump warned Americans on Saturday to brace for a "very horrendous" number of coronavirus deaths in the coming days as the total number of global fatalities from the pandemic soared past 60,000.
As confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States surpassed 300,000 with more than 8,300 deaths, there was some encouraging news in Italy and Spain.
Europe continues to bear the brunt of the epidemic, however, accounting for over 45,000 of the worldwide deaths, and Britain reported a new daily high in fatalities.
There are now more than 1.17 million confirmed coronavirus cases around the world and there have been 63,437 deaths since the virus emerged in China late last year.