Filipino Catholic bishop tests positive of COVID-19 for second time

The bishop is "asymptomatic" but has been required to isolate himself for the time being

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of the Diocese of San Carlos in the central Philippines has been tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time this year.

“He is asymptomatic. However, he is required to isolate himself for the time being,” read an announcement from Father Marjun Almario, chancellor of the diocese, on Sunday, September 19.

“We encourage those persons that he may have interacted with these past few days to observe home quarantine and cooperate with the authorities for proper health protocols,” added the priest.

Bishop Alminaza, 61, was infected with COVID-19 for the first time in June and was confined in a hospital for six days.

On Sunday, the Philippines reported 19,271 new COVID-19 infections, raising the number of active cases in the country to 178,196.

The Philippines’ Department of Health said the new cases brought the country’s total COVID-19 caseload to 2,366,749.

Of the 178,196 active cases, 92.3% are mild, 3.1% are asymptomatic, 2.6% are moderate, and 0.6% are in critical condition.

Total recoveries, meanwhile, increased to 2,151,765 after 25,037 more patients defeated the respiratory illness.

The death toll rose to 36,788 with 205 new fatalities.

On Saturday, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines called on the faithful to pray for the quick recovery of Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila from COVID-19.

Cardinal Jose Advincula listens as the Gospel is read during his installation as archbishop of Manila on June 24, 2021. (Photo by Angie de Silva)

In a statement, Archbishop Romulo Valles, CBCP president, asked for prayers so that the cardinal “can resume his important ministry” in the Church.

“We extend our prayers of fast recovery, complete healing, and good health to Cardinal Advincula,” Archbishop Valles wrote.

“We assure him of our closeness with him with our love, support and prayers,” he added.

Archbishop Valles also asked his fellow bishops to offer Masses for the fast healing of the 69-year-old Manila prelate.

“I ask my brother bishops to please include in all our daily Mass intentions the full recovery of our dear cardinal,” said Archbishop Valles.

“We bring all our prayer to the Lord and to our Blessed Mother for an end to this pandemic, for all those who are sick, and those who care for them,” he added.

The Manila archdiocese on Friday night announced that the cardinal tested positive for COVID-19 and experiencing mild symptoms.

“He is in quarantine, observing strict protocols,” the archdiocese said. “Doctors are also monitoring his condition.”

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