Rio De Janeiro: The iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer in Brazil's Rio De Janeiro lit up to honour the healthcare staff working in hospitals across the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
With churches closed due to the restrictions on the movement of people imposed by the local authorities to contain the spread of the virus, Archbishop Orani Tempesta on Sunday carried out an Easter ceremony alone at the foot of the statue, some 709 metres above sea level, reports Efe news.
Flags from countries affected by the coronavirus pandemic, including China, the US, Spain, Italy and Brazil, were projected onto the 38-meter-high Christ the Redeemer.
Messages written by children that read "Everything will be alright" were also displayed.
At the end, an image was projected on the statue that "dressed" the Christ in a doctor's coat, a tribute to the healthcare staff working in hospitals and risking their own lives at the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19.
Words such "Thanks" and "Hope" written in several languages were displayed on the statue along with "Stay home for us, for everyone. We are in this together".
A few hours before the ceremony in Corcovado, Father Omar Raposo, rector at the Christ the Redeemer Sanctuary, blessed the people of Rio de Janeiro from a helicopter that flew over the city for an hour.
According to the latest official figures released on Sunday, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country stood at 22,169 with 1,223 fatalities.
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most affected with 2,855 infections with 170 deaths so far.(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)