Famed Cagayan pilgrimage church closed after COVID-19 death
TUGUEGARAO CITY—The Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat and parks around it in the town of Piat, Cagayan province were closed after a church worker died of COVID-19.
In an interview, Piat Mayor Carmelo Villacete on Wednesday (April 7) said a priest had also contracted the virus and contact tracing had started for those who had encounters with the fatality and the priest.
The church is known as the Pilgrimage Center of the North and home to the 407-year-old Black Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Piat.
“Devotees flock to the church and could quickly spread the virus,” said the mayor.
Villacete, who recovered from COVID-19, urged villagers to cooperate to slow down the virus transmission.
To speed up contact tracing, the town officials approved an ordinance, which would allow infected villagers to sign waivers to allow the publication of their names for safety.
The town’s active COVID-19 cases have surged from six to 28 this week.
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