Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga, Bataan (Photo courtesy of CBCPNews)

A Catholic bishop has urged Masses for the frontliners working to help curb the spread of coronavirus, particularly the health workers.

Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga encouraged his priests to remember the frontliners battling the pandemic in their private Masses.

“Let us implore our Lord through the guiding intercession of our patron, Saint Joseph, to protect them and keep them away from any harm,” Santos said.

“May they stay strong, healthy, and safe. Reward their services and sacrifices a hundredfold,” he said.

The Department of Health confirmed March 18 that COVID-19 cases in the country have jumped to 202, while fatalities increased to 17. The country has also recorded seven recoveries.

Like other dioceses across the country, the bishop on March 15 has suspended indefinitely the holding of public Masses in churches to prevent the spread of the virus.

The diocese also cancelled other church services such as baptisms, confirmations and confessions until further notice.

“Other celebrations during Lent and Holy Week such as Palm Sunday, the rest of the Holy Week and Eastern Sunday will not be open to the public,” Santos said.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has earlier asked prayers, especially for those suffering from the coronavirus and to all those who are caring for them. (CBCPNews)