Leyte priest dies of COVID-19
TACLOBAN CITY –– A retired priest from Leyte province succumbed to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Jan. 11.
Fr. Stephen Pesado, 65, who died while being treated in a hospital in Tacloban City, was the first priest in Leyte to die of COVID-19.
“The entire Archdiocese of Palo mourns his death. This sends a strong message to all the faithful that even priests, who strictly follow all the basic health protocols, could still acquire the deadly virus,” said Fr. Chris Arthur Militante, spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Palo in Leyte.
Pesado’s body was immediately cremated as part of the government protocols in handling COVID-19 fatalities.
Many believed Pesado got the virus from one of the social gatherings he attended.
Aside from Pesado, Militante said four priests from the archdiocese had been isolated after they were tested positive for COVID-19 although all were asymptomatic.
Before his death, Pesado and other retired priests of the archdiocese stayed at the archdiocese’s Clergy House.
Pesado, a native of Tolosa town in Leyte, was ordained priest on Feb. 28, 1981.
He was first assigned at the Santo Niño Parish in Tacloban City.
In 2015, while serving as parish priest at the Immaculate Conception in Ipil town in Ormoc City, Palo Archbishop John Du asked Pesado to retire due to his failing health.
As of Tuesday, Eastern Visayas has recorded 12,195 COVID-19 cases with at least 144 deaths, according to the Department of Health (DOH) in the region.###
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