Basilica remains closed; 5 positive for coronavirus

THE Basilica Minore del Santo Nino in Cebu City will remain closed to the public after five of the church's personnel were found positive for the new coronavirus.

Fr. Andres Rivera Jr., the Order of St. Augustine (OSA)'s Prior Provincial in Cebu, confirmed the matter in an advisory issued on Monday afternoon, June 8.

Rivera said they were informed by health officials that of the 41 people swabbed at the Basilica, five of them were found positive for coronavirus.

Late last month, officials of the Basilica did not allow churchgoers and pilgrims to visit and pray after one of their workers tested positive for the new virus.

Some of the Basilica employees were also showing symptoms of Covid-19, resulting in them being tested and isolated inside the church.

But Rivera clarified that of the five coronavirus-positive individuals, none were priests.

The five persons who were tested positive remain asymptomatic and are currently on their 13th day of the quarantine period, Rivera added.

"Furthermore, we inform the public that we are not opening the Basilica for public worship and veneration to sanitize the whole Basilica compound and to strengthen its safety procedures and protocols," River added.

The Basilica was supposed to open its doors on June 1 after the Archdiocese of Cebu urged parishes to partially open after the National Government declared the entire Cebu island under a general community quarantine (GCQ) status. (JKV)