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A third convent in Quezon City was hit by an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COViD-19) cases with 13 nuns reportedly being infected, according to a report by Manila Bulletin.

The nuns are reportedly from the convent of Stella Maris in Cubao, Quezon City.

This is the third convent to be hit by a surge in COVID-19 cases. The first two were the Religious of Virgin Mary Convent and the Convent of the Holy Spirit, both located in Quezon City.

At least 22 nuns and staff at the Convent of the Holy Spirit in Barangay Immaculate Conception tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the Quezon City government, the convent has 90 residents.

Of the positive cases, 13 are nuns and nine are staff, including the index case or the first documented case in the institution.

Fourteen infected individuals are fully vaccinated and the others have yet to receive their COVID-19 jabs.

Dr. Rolando Cruz, Quezon City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) chief, said 46 individuals were swabbed last Sept. 10 while the rest refused to be tested at that time.

“Per our agreement with them, they will take care of the testing of the remaining 44 individuals and they will send us the results as soon as they come out,” said Cruz.

Swab results of the 46 showed that 25 have tested negative, while 22 were found positive for the virus, including the index case.

Cruz said the index case is a physical therapist who was reportedly exposed to a nun who succumbed to the virus earlier this month.

Majority of infected nuns are between 80 and101 years old.

Doctors from St. Luke’s Medical Center are monitoring the patients who are being attended to by caregivers.

The convent is now under a special concern lockdown.

Earlier, the city government also reported a COVID-19 outbreak at the Religious of the Virgin Mary convent in Barangay Kaunlaran, New Manila, Quezon City, affecting 114 nuns and staff.

According to CESU, 61 nuns and 53 staff contracted COVID-19.

CESU said 22 patients are asymptomatic, 86 are experiencing mild symptoms, four are moderate cases, and two are severe cases.

The two severe cases are now being treated at the ICU, according to CESU.

The convent is now under granular lockdown.

Quezon City gov’t monitors closed-setting facilities

The Quezon City government is closely monitoring all closed-setting and long-term care facilities following the recent COVID-19 outbreaks in orphanages and convents.

“Hindi pwedeng reactive tayo sa tuwing magkakaroon ng outbreak. Nakikita natin na sunod-sunod na ang mga reported outbreak sa ganitong high-risk facilities, unahan na natin (We cannot be reactive every time there is an outbreak. We see a series of reported outbreaks in such high-risk facilities, let’s go ahead). We will test them and check if they have strict health protocols in place,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.

Belmonte directed the CESU to determine the vaccination status of all individuals staying and working in these facilities.

“Kailangan nating malaman kung may bakuna ba ang mga ito at gaya ng ginawa natin sa ibang nursing homes at opisina, tayo na ang pupunta sa kanila para sila ay mabakunahan kung marami sa kanila ang takot lumabas o ayaw lumabas ngayong panahon ng pandemya (We need to know if they have already been vaccinated, and as we have done in other nursing homes and offices, we will go to them so that they can be vaccinated if many of them are afraid to go out or do not want to go out during the pandemic),” she said.

The city government has already provided paracetamol, vitamins, hygiene kits, face masks, alcohol, soap, rice, and food packs to the affected individuals.

A total of 122 children and personnel of the Gentle Hands Orphanage in Barangay Bagumbuhay, Quezon City also tested positive for COVID-19.

Out of the total number, 99 are children with ages 18 and below.

A total of 143 individuals were tested and 118 yielded positive results for COVID-19 while four were identified as index cases.

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