Caloocan church locked down after death of priest with COVID-19

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 25) - The San Roque Cathedral in Caloocan was placed under temporary lockdown starting Sunday after a guest priest died of a heart attack and was eventually tested positive of COVID-19, said Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president and Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgillo David on late Saturday.

In a Facebook post, David said that Fr. Manuel Jadraque, Jr. of the Mission Society of the Philippines took a tricycle from Monumento to the church on Saturday morning. However, upon arrival, Jadraque was found “unresponsive and very pale inside the tricycle.”

The priest was declared dead on arrival at the Caloocan City Medical Center.

David said that he insisted to have a post-mortem swab test on Jadraque due to instances of COVID-19-related heart attacks.

“Sadly, the test result came out this evening and he was found to be positive of SARS-Cov-2. We have no way of finding out if the heart attack had been triggered by COVID despite the fact that he had been fully vaccinated already,” said David.

David noted that that the 58-year-old priest was already fully vaccinated with COVID-19 Sinovac vaccine.

“We also do not know which strain of COVID it was. We therefore asked the city government to have the lab specimen submitted for genome sequencing to find out which variant had infected Fr. Manuel,” the bishop added.

The Department of Health earlier explained that getting vaccinated does not mean full protection from COVID-19, but it prevents one person from getting severe forms of infection.