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Pampanga bishop tests positive for COVID-19

Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - March 1, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A Catholic bishop in San Fernando, Pampanga tested positive for COVID yesterday.

Archbishop Florentino Lavarias became the ninth prelate to be infected with the virus.

In a message, San Fernando Archdiocese vicar general Fr. Francis Dizon urged the clergy and the public to pray for Lavarias’ immediate recovery.

“People who have been in close contact with the archbishop have been informed about the matter. The archbishop remains in stable condition,” Dizon said.

Lavarias has been head of the archdiocese since 2014. He is vice chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Clergy.

As this developed, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma and Cebu Auxiliary bishop emeritus Antonio Rañola have reportedly recovered from the virus and would be discharged from the hospital anytime soon.

Palma and Rañola tested positive for COVID on Feb. 18 and 19, respectively.

Meanwhile, Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba is worried about the recent spike of COVID cases in the province after 13 personnel of the provincial capitol tested positive for the virus.

The provincial health office recorded 43 new cases over the weekend.

Ten of the infected personnel were from the provincial disaster risk reduction management office (PDRRMO) and the rest from the veterinary office.

Most of the infected personnel from the PDRRMO experienced fever, colds and headache after they were exposed to a co-worker who earlier contracted COVID.

On Saturday, 11 police officers based at Camp Tirso Gador also tested positive for the virus.

In Caraga region, 17,000 people have been arrested since September for violating quarantine rules.

Most of those arrested were caught violating curfew hours and health protocols, according to Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat Jr., chief of the Caraga police. – Raymund Catindig, Ben Serrano

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