Another Catholic priest in the Diocese of Malaybalay in the southern Philippine province of Bukidnon died of COVID-19 complications on Tuesday, May 4.
Father Pablo Salengua, 67, parish priest of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Dalirig, Manolo Fortich town, died at 12:15 p.m.
He served as priest for 34 years and was chairman of the Indigenous Peoples Apostolate in the diocese.
He was the second priest in Bukidnon who succumbed to COVID-19 after Father Diomedes Brigoli of the Jesus Nazareno parish in Libona who died on May 1.
The diocese has ordered the temporary closure of the Dalirig and the Libona parish churches. The Bishop’s House in Malaybalay City was also place under lockdown.
The diocese, however, announced that all the tests conducted on all personnel in the bishop’s house turned out to be negative.
The Philippines on Tuesday recorded 5,683 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, as some cities in the capital region began rolling out the trial batch of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines.
The additional number of infections raised the country’s total to 1,067,892, of which 66,060 are considered active cases, said the Department of Health.
The day’s tally of new cases is the lowest in more than a month, or since March 18, when 5,290 additional infections were announced.
The Health department said the relatively low number of new cases was due to the failure of 21 laboratories to submit data on time on Sunday.
Out of 35,286 people who were last tested for COVID-19, 14.3 percent were found positive for the disease.
Meanwhile, there were 97 more people who died due to the disease, bringing the country’s death toll to 17,622.
Experts and health officials earlier said the rate of new infections in the country appear to be declining, but warned that this should not be a reason for the public to be complacent.