The San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila, the country’s oldest church, went on indefinite lockdown on Sunday after its parish priest died of Covid-19.

“San Agustin Church and Convento de San Agustin Intramuros WILL BE ON LOCKDOWN STARTING TODAY (21 March). Access to the church and convent will be restricted, and operations at the Parish Office will also be suspended until further notice,” the statement read.

This lockdown came after the death of Fr. Arnold Sta. Maria Cañoza, parish priest of San Agustin, who died early Sunday after he got infected with the coronavirus.

“It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that, according to the report of the Local Prior of Convento de San Agustin – Intramuros, R.P.FR. ARNOLD STA. MARIA CAÑOZA, OSA, assigned at the Convento de San Agustin as PARISH PRIEST of Archdiocesan Shrine of N.S. de la Consolación y Correa – San Agustin Church, PASSED AWAY due to COVID-19 on 21 March 2021,” the Augustinian Vicariate of the Orient announced in a Facebook post.

Cañoza was 45.

Completed in 1607, San Agustin Church is administered by the Order of Saint Augustine.

As of March 20, there were 17 active cases of Covid-19 in Intramuros, Manila. Jade Veronique V. Yap