Priest who died of heart attack tests COVID-positive
THE San Roque Cathedral in Caloocan City has been placed under “temporary lockdown” after a guest priest who succumbed to heart attack on Saturday morning tested positive for Covid-19.
Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said that Fr. Manuel Jadraque Jr. was found positive of the virus during post-mortem swab testing.
The lockdown started Sunday but no information was given as to how long it will be in place.
The bishop said the 58-year-old priest took a tricycle in Monumento to get to the cathedral. However, upon arrival, “he was found unresponsive and very pale inside the tricycle.”
Jadraque was pronounced dead on arrival at the Caloocan City Medical Hospital.
A priest of the Mission Society of the Philippines, Jadraque was supposed to return to New Zealand in May but was prevented by the travel ban due to the pandemic.
David said that due to previous instances of Covid-related heart attacks, he insisted on having the priest submitted to a post-mortem swab test, which turned out to be positive.
Jadraque already completed his Sinovac jab, according to the prelate.
“We have no way of finding out if the heart attack had been triggered by COVID despite the fact that he had been fully vaccinated already. We also do not know which strain of COVID it was,” the bishop said.
“We, therefore, asked the city government to have the specimen submitted for genome sequencing to find out which variant had infected Father Manuel,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health is investigating the death of Jadraque, who was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and tested positive for the disease in a post-mortem swab.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire urged the public not to jump to conclusions about the priest’s death as the DOH conducts an investigation.
Vergeire said authorities still need to verify the vaccine brand given to Fr. Mawe, the result of his post-mortem swab test, and the cause of his death.
“Hindi lang po COVID-19 ang pwedeng pumatay sa’tin. Kahit po tayo ay may COVID-19, it doesn’t mean na we will die of COVID-19. There are still other diseases in our body that may cause our death. Let’s complete all the details. We are currently investigating this,” she said.