MANILA - The Department of Health on Wednesday said it is still investigating the case of a Catholic priest who died of heart attack and found positive for COVID-19 in a post-mortem swab test.
“Iniimbestigahan natin kaso ni Father, pero ang sabi nga natin kailangan nating ma-determine lahat ng mga detalye surrounding that event. Talaga po bang Sinovac ang itinurok sa kaniya? Naka 2 doses ba talaga siya? Ang RT-PCR po ba talaga ay nagawa at ano yung timing nung RT PCR nung pagkamatay niya and of course, kailangan nating isipin history niya. Meron na ba siyang sakit sa puso,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeiere.
(Were investigating Father’s case but we still have to determine all the details surrounding that event. Was he really vaccinated with Sinovoc? Did he recieve 2 doses? Was the RT-PCR really conducted and we also have to think about his history. Does he have a heart problem.)
According to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Fr. Manuel Jardaque Jr. was found positive of the virus in a post mortem swab test.
Jardaque, 58, took a tricycle to the San Roque Cathedral in Caloocan City last week but was found unresponsive inside the vehicle. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Caloocan City Medical Hospital.
In an interview on TeleRadyo on Wednesday, Vergeire said patients with COVID-19 usually succumbs due to other conditions. She said it’s not always that COVID-19 was the cause of death. The person could have other conditions. However, they are not disregarding the fact that he had COVID.
“Meron siyang maaaring sakit sa puso kaya ito ang ikinamatay, although positive siya. Pero lahat po ito aming assumption lang sa ngayon hininhintay pa ang full investigation para makapagbigay tayo ng impormasyon sa publiko,” said Vergeire.
(He may have had a heart disease and this was the cause of his death, although he was positive. All of these are all assumptions for now and were waiting for the full investigation so that we could give information to the public.)
The CBCP said Jardaque was fully vaccinated against COVID-19. He was supposed to return to New Zealand in May but was affected by the travel ban due to the pandemic.
“Kahit na tayo ay fully vaccinated meron po tayong tinatawag na breakthrough infections, at ito po yung mga impeksiyon na nakikita natin na mild at asymptomatic lang ng ating mga kababayan pag bakunado na sila,” she said.
(Even if were fully vaccinated we still have what we call breakthrough infections, these are mild or asymptomatic infections that can be experienced by vaccinated people.)
Following the priest's death, the cathedral had been placed under a temporary lockdown.