Quiapo Church on lockdown until July 4 after priest tests positive for COVID-19

Filipinos flock inside Quiapo Church for Ash Wednesday | Photo by DZRH Boy Gonzales

The Quiapo Church in Manila has been placed on lockdown after a visiting priest from Mindanao tested positive for COVID-19.

In an interview, Rev. Fr. Douglas Badong, parochial vicar of St. John the Baptist Parish, said they decided to stop allowing devotees inside the church last June 19, the day the priest had tested positive for the infection.

“So to be safe and to prevent, we stopped allowing people inside. We don’t know where he got it or the virus might still be there. So to ensure the public is safe, we decided to close the church,” he said in an interview.

The visiting priest, whom Badong refused to identify, stayed in the Quiapo Church from the start of the enhanced community quarantine on March 16 up to June 13 following the strict implementation of lockdown in Metro Manola.

“We learned that from Manila, the priest had a stopover in Cagayan de Oro. So, we are not sure if the priest got the virus here or when he arrived in Mindanao,” he added.

Badong said once they found out about the results, all priests and staff of Quiapo Church went into self-quarantine for 14 days as mandated by government guidelines.

“We stopped the operations although the online mass will continue,” he said.

He said that the lockdown will end on July 4 after the results of the visiting priest from Mindanao come back negative from the virus.

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