An Italian city that was the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic one year ago is thanking a Christian NGO for building a field hospital that cared for patients in the worst wave of the virus.

Italy was the first epicentre of the COVID-19 epidemic in Europe and specifically the north of the country.

Cremona, a city of 77,000 inhabitants in the Lombardy region, has thanked the ‘Samaritani’ (as they have been known in the city) for their help in the midst of the chaos that broke out in the region in February 2020.

Samaritan’s Purse, a U.S.-based evangelical humanitarian relief organization, operated a field hospital in Cremona in March and April of last year, to support the overwhelmed regional health system. Around one hundred medical specialists worked in facilities that consisted of over sixty beds.

In 60 days of work, the NGO treated 281 patients, and their stay was “much appreciated by citizens, local authorities and the city’s hospital structure,” Italian evangelicals said.

Citizens sit on chairs while city councillors are at the frontA recent gathering of the City Council of Cremona. (Comune di Cremona)

One year later, the ‘Consiglio Comunale’ (City Council) of Cremona has given Samaritan Purse the “honorary citizenship,” a decision that was approved unanimously with the vote of all political parties.

Local news website Cremona Oggi reported about the city’s decision by stating that “in the first dramatic moments of the pandemic, the Samaritan’s Purse field hospital helped the Cremonese hospital to withstand an unimaginable impact.”

The city recently opened a forest of remembrance of the COVID-19 victims.


This story originally appeared at Evangelical Focus and is republished here with permission.