Davao church placed on lockdown after 3 priests, seminarian test positive for COVID-19

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 07 2021 09:16 PM

St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Barangay Ma-a, Davao City. Photo courtesy of the parish

DAVAO CITY -- The city's COVID-19 Task Force on Wednesday urged those who visited or attended mass at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Barangay Ma-a to have themselves undergo RT-PCR test after three priests and a seminarian tested positive for the coronavirus disease.

The parish announced on its social media account and placed a signage outside the church compound that they are suspending all activities, including liturgical celebrations, upon the recommendation of the City Health Office, from January 2 until further notice.

Davao City's COVID-19 focal person, Dr. Ashley Lopez, said in a virtual press conference over Davao City Disaster Radio that 18 people who had close contact with the confirmed positive patients were already swabbed on Monday, and that the COVID patients are already admitted in a hospital in the city.

He advised those who visited St. Francis of Assisi Parish from December 22, 2020 to January 1, 2021 to go to the nearest swabbing centers.

"Ito siguro, apektado ito ng holiday surge natin because as we know, pag-Christmas at New Year, as Christians or Catholics, nagsisimba at nagbi-Bisita Iglesia talaga tayo. So naapektuhan ang ating mga parish at seminaries. We have several parishes ug seminaries with reported cases, including mga pari at mga seminarian at lay workers," he said.

Lopez said they haven't noticed though a spike in cases in Davao City during the holidays, noting that a series of days each with 100 to 110 new infections was not observed.

He said it was only on January 4 that the city recorded a triple-digit addition, with 104 new cases.

"Fortunately, ang kaso natin ngayon, bumaba in spite of the anticipated holiday surge. It's good news. But as I have been saying na hindi dapat tayo mag-relax," he said.

The post-New Year's surge is expected to reflect beginning in the second week of January until the first week of February.

- report from Hernel Tocmo

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