QC probes Covid-19 outbreak inside convent

QC probes Covid-19 outbreak inside convent

MANILA – The Quezon City government is looking into the possible cause of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak in a convent in the city after 114 persons have been infected.

A total of 64 nuns and 50 of their staff of lay partners, health aides, caregivers, a nurse, and drivers of the congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM) located in Cubao yielded positive swab test results.

Quezon City’s Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) said Wednesday that 22 of those infected are asymptomatic, 86 experiencing mild symptoms, four are moderate, and two are severe and currently in the intensive care unit.

No one among the nuns have been vaccinated against Covid-19 after they canceled their vaccination schedule, the CESU said. The staff, however, have been fully vaccinated.

Upon learning about the outbreak, the city carried out massive contact tracing to contain the further spread of the disease.

The city government learned about the situation only after the cases have been recorded in the city’s surveillance data as reported by a testing laboratory, CESU chief Dr. Rolando Cruz said.

“Hindi po tayo ang nag-swab sa kanila. Nagpa-test po sila sa iba at nang lumabas na ang resulta sa laboratory, na-record ito sa (We were not the ones who conducted the swab tests on them. They had their tests outside, and when their laboratory results came out, it was recorded in our) surveillance data. Now, our team is conducting an investigation and intensive contact tracing to get more details about the matter,” Cruz said.

The RVM Convent has been placed by the city government under a special concern lockdown (SCL) since Sept. 14.

Meantime, the city government received another report on Wednesday that some 22 individuals from another religious institution, the Convent of the Holy Spirit, also tested positive for Covid-19, and had been placed under SCL.

The convent has 90 residents.

The CESU is also conducting ongoing Investigations on the possible cause of the infections.

QC Mayor Joy Belmonte earlier tasked the CESU to strictly monitor and have an inventory of all the closed-setting facilities in the city.

This includes convents, nursing homes, homes for the aged, rehabilitation centers, shelters for street children, halfway homes for victims of violence and abuse, hospices, and correctional facilities, among others.

Belmonte advised them to be more proactive in conducting Covid-19 testing and reviewing the health protocols being observed by these caring facilities and other high-risk institutions. (PNA)

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