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Pampanga archbishop tests positive for COVID-19

Archbishop Florentino Lavarias, head of the Archdiocese of San Fernando in Pampanga, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to his close aides.

In a joint circular issued on Sunday, February 28, Vicar General Father Francis Dizon and Chancellor Father Danny Nacpil said the 63-year-old archbishop “remains in stable condition.”

Dizon and Nacpil said people who had close contact with Lavarias have been informed regarding his condition.

They also urged the members of the clergy and the laity of the Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga to pray for the steady speedy recovery of Lavarias.

Other Catholic leaders, including former Manila archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, have tested positive for the coronavirus. In Cebu, Archbishop Jose Palma and retired auxiliary bishop Antonio Rañola recently recovered from COVID-19.

As of February 27, at least 15 new reported cases were added to the 510 active COVID-19 cases in Pampanga. The death toll in the province has reached 429 while 7,089 have recovered, based on data from the provincial coronavirus disease bulletin. – Rappler.com

Jezreel Ines is a Rappler intern. He is a third year journalism student at the University of the Philippines Diliman.