Ilagan Bishop William Antonio tested positive for COVID-19.
The Diocese of Ilagan in Isabela said the swab test and laboratory exam of the prelate taken last Nov. 9 as requirement for travel permit were “COVID-19 positive.”
“However, Bishop William is by far asymptomatic and now undergoing mandatory quarantine,” they said in an advisory posted on their Facebook page Thursday.
Other Catholic prelates have tested positive for COVID but have since recovered. They are Archdiocese of Manila apostolic administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo, retired Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iniguez, and former Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
Due to this, the diocese said the St. Michael Cathedral, the Diocesan Chancery, and the bishop’s residence at the Cathedral Compound on Marhalika Highway, Gamu, Isabela are closed beginning Nov. 12 until further notice.
The diocese advised those who had close contact with or prolonged exposure to Antonio the past few days to observe precautionary measures.
“They are requested to self-isolate for 10 to 14 days, to inform the frontliners of their respective Rural Health Unit about their predicament for contact tracing, or for immediate medical intervention should they manifest COVID-19 symptoms to prevent local transmission of the virus.”
“We pray for the fast recovery of Bishop William and all those who are afflicted by the pandemic,” it added.
The advisory was signed by Fr. Ric Zeus Angobung, the chancellor of the diocese.