Cubao bishop, priests undergo coronavirus tests

Cubao bishop, priests undergo coronavirus tests

Health workers take a blood sample from Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao for a Covid-19 test July 6. PHOTO FROM THE DIOCESE OF CUBAO

By CBCP News

July 6, 2020

Manila, Philippines

Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao and his priests were tested for coronavirus Monday as parishes prepare to resume public religious services.

The bishop said the rapid testing included all the staff at his residence and some employees of the diocese’s chancery office.

“All (test) results of our priests and staff in my residence plus some in the chancery are negative,” Bishop Ongtioco said.

He said the tests were conducted to ensure that they are healthy to perform their duties.

“This is to ensure that we are fit to serve our people and (that we) also (ensure) their safety and health,” he added.

The government earlier allowed churches in areas under general community quarantine to hold religious activities but with only at 10 percent seating capacity starting July 10.

Bishop Ongtioco said they are also asking clearance from the Quezon City government before they resume public Masses by Saturday.

“This morning our Vicar General had a meeting with Mayor Joy (Belmonte) to get clearance in order to resume our public masses following government protocol,” he said.

Last June 22, Bishop Dennis Villarojo of Malolos and his clergy also underwent mandatory rapid tests for coronavirus and all of them tested negative.