September 17, 2021 at 01:50 am
Quezon City public health authorities are working to determine the cause of the COVID-19 outbreak in two convents where hundreds of people tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Quezon City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) said they are in the process of a massive contact tracing effort to contain further spread of the virus.
Of the some 400 people at the Religious of the Virgin Mary Convent on N. Domingo Street, Cubao, 50 members of the staff and 64 nuns tested positive.
None of the nuns were vaccinated because their original inoculation schedule was cancelled. However, members of the staff are fully vaccinated.
Rolando Cruz, CESU chief, said his team became aware of the situation after the cases were recorded in the surveillance data reported by a testing laboratory.
“We didn’t conduct the swab test. They had themselves tested in a laboratory and the results were recorded in the surveillance data,” Cruz said in Filipino.
“Now, our team is conducting an investigation and intensive contact tracing to get more details,” he added.
Part of the investigation is to determine if any of the infected people from the convent had any close contact with anyone outside the facility.
The RVM mother house had been placed under a Special Concern Lockdown (SCL) since Sept. 14.
Meanwhile, the Convent of the Holy Spirit is also under s SCL after 22 of its 90 residents tested positive for the coronavirus.
CESU investigators are still looking into the outbreak of COVID cases in the facility.
Last week, more than 100 people—most of them children—at an orphanage tested positive for COVID-19.
Mayor Joy Belmonte directed the CESU to make an inventory of all closed-setting facilities in the city including 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 and instructed them to be more proactive in conducting testing and reviewing the health protocols being observed by these facilities and other high-risk institutions.
Belmonte also reminded the public, especially administrators of facilities with confined and closed settings to observe minimum health protocols at all times and to report immediately to CESU or the barangay as soon as someone within their community is manifesting symptoms of COVID-19.