Bishop Julito Cortes of Dumaguete appealed this week to the faithful, especially to church people, to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease.
“Please submit yourselves for vaccination,” read a circular letter released by the diocese, following the decision of health officials to place the province of Negros Oriental under COVID Alert Level 4.
The province recorded 593 new positive infections covering the period from October 16-18, the local health office said.
The total caseload for Negros Oriental as of October 19 is 16,397 broken down into 13,790 recoveries, 2,212 active positive infections, and 395 deaths.
Health officials said the province is experiencing a “third wave” of infections.
Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo has issued an executive order that urged everyone, including ministers who lead religious activities, to be vaccinated.
Bishop Cortes said getting vaccinated should be considered a “pastoral charity” for the sake of the community.
“All these we do in the spirit of pastoral charity and sensitivity to the needs of the times,” read the bishop’s circular letter.
The bishop also reminded priests to hold simple celebrations of the Mass and to “kindly limit the singing to the essential parts of the Holy Mass in order to shorten the exposure of each person to the community.”
On Thursday, October 21, the Philippines reported 4,806 fresh COVID-19 cases, the third straight day that daily infections were below 5,000.
Of the total 2,740,111 confirmed cases, 65,835 or 2.4 percent are active infections, according to the Department of Health bulletin.
COVID-related deaths increased by 260 to 41,237, while there were 5,934 more recoveries, raising the total number of recuperations to 2,633,039.