The social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Monday urged the public to do their share in the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) by staying at home.

Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, of the National Director of NASSA/Caritas Philippines, said the people will greatly help the front-liners by not leaving their homes.

“Staying at home is the only way everyone can show solidarity and compassion to our front-liners. Let’s do everything we can to help them,” he said in a statement.

In a late Sunday night public address, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal will be reverted to more stringent modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Duterte made the decision in response to the medical front-liners’ appeal for a two-week timeout to address “healthcare workforce deficiency, failure of case finding and isolation, failure of contact tracing and quarantine, transportation safety, and workplace safety public compliance”.

On Monday, the Department of Health reported 3,226 new Covid-19 infections, raising the country’s overall tally to 106,330.

Kalookan emeritus Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez also tested for Covid-19 and now receiving treatment at a hospital, said Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David during his Mass at the San Roque Cathedral on Sunday.

“May the Lord grant his healing grace to our beloved bishop and all the people affected by the disease,” David said.

Iñiguez, 79, is the second Catholic prelate to test positive of Covid-19 after Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo.

Meanwhile, Diocese of Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos is offering the Holy Masses every Wednesday starting this week to all healthcare workers, particularly in Bataan.

“We will dedicate the celebration of the Holy Eucharist every Wednesday as an offering to all the healthcare workers, most especially here in Bataan,” he said in a statement on Monday.

On Sunday, the Archdiocese of Manila has suspended the holding of public religious activities in all churches and shrines under it in response to the call of the medical community.

“As a response to the call of our medical people, all the churches and shrines in the Archdiocese of Manila will revert to the period of the ECQ protocols. We will not hold public religious activities from August 3 to August 14 but we continue our online religious activities. We will also use this time to evaluate our church response to the pandemic and see how we can improve them,” it said in a statement.

The archdiocese also asked the public to pray for front-liners, those affected by the deadly disease and their families.

Other dioceses that also suspended the holding of public masses are Cubao, Paranaque, Pasig, Novaliches, and Malolos. (PNA)


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