The 18th edition of the Oħloq Tbissima marathon will this year be adapting to Department of Health COVID-19 guidelines, the organisers said.

The 21-hour marathon, being held on July 17-19 between 5pm and midnight, collects funds in aid of missions run by the St Paul’s Missionary Society.

The marathon will be broadcast by the CPi Media studio, the Production House behind four socio-religious weekly programs, on the three main television stations in Malta. The studios are located in St Joseph's House, Santa Venera.

CPi Media director Fr Louis Mallia said that as a result of COVID-19, this year’s marathon will have a stronger significance as a result of the pandemic that gripped the world.

"The developing countries where St Paul's Missionary Society has its missions have been severely affected by this pandemic," he said, referring to the way the virus has gripped the United States, Peru, Pakistan and the Philippines."

Maltese and Gozitan friars always helped poor families by giving them a daily meal.

But with the pandemic and the death toll it was leaving behind, the economies of these countries have been ravaged with thousands of people losing their jobs as a result, leading to a substantial increase in the number of those who could not afford a meal.

Details on how to donate will be announced later.

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