MANILA - The San Roque Cathedral in Caloocan City has been placed under "temporary lockdown" after a guest priest, who died of a heart attack Saturday morning, tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Fr. Manuel Jadraque Jr. was found positive of the virus in a post-mortem swab test.
The cathedral was closed Sunday but the CBCP has yet to announce when it will reopen.
CBCP President Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said Jadraque, 58, took a tricycle to get to the cathedral, but he was found unresponsive inside the vehicle.
Jadraque was later pronounced dead on arrival at the Caloocan City Medical Hospital.
David said that due to previous instances of COVID-related heart attacks, he insisted on having Jadraque's remains submitted to a post-mortem swab test.
He also said Jadraque was fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We have no way of finding out if the heart attack had been triggered by COVID despite the fact that he had been fully vaccinated already. We also do not know which strain of COVID it was," David said.
“We, therefore, asked the city government to have the [laboratory] specimen submitted for genome sequencing to find out which variant had infected Father Manuel,” he added.
The CBCP said Jadraque, who is a member of the Mission Society of the Philippines, was supposed to return to New Zealand in May but was affected by the travel ban due to the pandemic.