KALIBO, Aklan – Two Catholic priests in Aklan contracted coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
One was assigned in Boracay Island as parochial vicar of the Parish Church of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary in Barangay Balabag.
This 28-year-old priest is now recovering in isolation at the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital here.
According to Reverend Father Joseph Christian Indadano, chancellor of the Diocese of Kalibo, the priest – Aklan’s Case 462 – tested positive through the rapid antigen test and confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
The patient’s priest-companions and staff underwent RT-PCR tests, too. Swab samples taken from six priests and three church workers in Boracay and Kalibo all turned out negative for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
“Let us continue to heal as one by observing health protocols. Let us pray for his fast recovery and all those similarly sick,” Indadano said on Jan. 8.
The other COVID-19-positive priest was based at the Sto. Niño Seminary and the Saint Joseph the Worker Parish in Numancia, Aklan.
The seminary was right away locked down on Jan. 8 while the priest was taken to the Aklan provincial hospital isolation ward.
“Daily masses at the parish church are temporarily suspended starting Jan. 9. However, the parish will still continue to broadcast the daily masses via Facebook live,” read a Facebook post of St. Joseph the Worker Parish Church.
It was learned that swab specimens from the eight priests on Jan. 8 were collected for testing by a molecular laboratory in Aklan provincial hospital.
They have to self-isolate while waiting for their coronavirus test results./PN