Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos has ordered the suspension of all public religious activities in the Diocese of Balanga after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) placed the province under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) from Aug. 8 to 22 due to the rising coronavirus cases in Bataan.
“Now that the ECQ status has been approved by the IATF, all religious gatherings are prohibited in the Diocese of Balanga. From Aug. 8 to 22, let us abide by and follow the national IATF protocols especially on religious gatherings,” Santos said over Radio Veritas.
“We will close our parish churches for public Sacramental celebrations such as baptisms and confirmations. Holy Masses will only be available online with very limited attendees such as the lector, choir of three, and our in-house personnel. Weddings will also have to be rescheduled,” Santos added.
The Bataan Provincial Health Office has recorded about 14,643 COVID-19 cases in the province, with 1,974 active cases. Sixteen individuals have also tested positive for the Delta variant.
The local government is ramping up its vaccination program against COVID-19 with more than 122,000 residents in Bataan vaccinated with the first dose and about 115,000 fully vaccinated residents.