The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, popularly known as Quiapo Church, will be on lockdown until July 4.
Father Douglas Badong, parochial vicar, said the church has been closed since June 19 after a priest who was staying in the parish tested positive for the new coronavirus disease.
“He stayed with us for three months because days before his flight to Mindanao, the lockdown was declared,” said Father Badong.
“When it was declared that its already okay to travel, he had a rapid test and was found negative,” he added.
The priest left Quiapo for the southern Philippines on June 13. When he arrived in Mindanao, he was tested positive of the disease.
The priest has since recovered and is free of the disease.
“We dont know where he got it (but) to protect the people, we closed the church for the meantime,” said Father Badong.
He said all priests and staff of Quiapo Church are undergoing “self-quarantine.”
“So far none of us have symptoms. We had rapid tests and it was negative,” he said.
Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, said the lockdown of the church is only a “precautionary measure … for the safety of everyone.”
The prelate said the celebration of online Masses in Quiapo Church continues despite the lockdown. He also assured the public that the church compound was already sanitized.
Early this week, the Santisima Trinidad parish church in Manila’s Malate district was also closed after the parish priest and a church worker tested positive of the new coronavirus disease.
In nearby Quezon City, the Our Lady of Miraculous Medal parish also announced a temporary lockdown starting June 25 after one of the parish staff tested positive for the disease.