A Catholic church in Manila has been temporarily closed after a priest and three church personnel tested positive of COVID-19.
The National Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus has suspended public Masses for two weeks from December 31 until January 14, said a report from CBCP News.
“For the duration of the closure, there will be thorough disinfection and intensive sanitation and, hence, the churchgoers are requested to refrain from coming to the church in the meantime,” read a statement released by the shrine.
The parish encouraged parishioners to instead attend Masses through its online livestreams.
“Let us implore the Almighty God in our fervent prayers for the sick that they will be restored to good health, through the constant intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and our beloved Patron of Hope, Saint Jude Thaddeus,” added the statement.
The positivity rate of COVID-19 infections in the Philippine capital stood at 28.7 percent on Monday, a slight jump from the 28 percent the day before and the 21 percent before that.
The number of new cases in the capital region on Monday is expected to stall to anywhere between 2,000 and 2,500 after authorities tallied 3,314 cases in Metro Manila on Sunday.
“The rapid increase in positivity rate in the [National Capital Region] has slowed down, possibly due to a decrease in social and mass gatherings leading up to the New Year’s Eve,” said Guido David of the independent OCTA Research group.
Of the cases in Metro Manila, the cities of Manila, Quezon, and Makati topped the list with 949, 648, and 211 cases in their localities, respectively.
The World Health Organization’s benchmark for opening the economy is five percent of tests.
As of the Department of Health’s latest tally on January 2, 19.6 percent of all tests around the country came back positive.
Earlier, OCTA said that hospital bed occupancy for COVID-19 patients in the capital increased by 41 percent compared to the previous week. – with a report from CBCP News
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