Mayor Joy Belmonte has ordered the City Health Department (CHD) to vaccinate all individuals who are residing and working in closed and long-term care facilities in the city.

This after the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (QCESU) recently submitted a report on 13 facilities it has visited and surveyed so far.

The said facilities include orphanages, home care facilities, apostolate centers, and rehabilitation centers among others.

According to QCESU chief Dr. Rolando Cruz, there are an estimated 1,027 employees and clients in all 13 facilities. Among these, 594 have yet to receive a first dose of COVID vaccine.

“We are working closely with the city’s vaccination team so inoculation can be done at the soonest possible time,” Cruz said.

Meanwhile, Belmonte confirmed that she has received reports from media outlets about the passing of some nuns from the Religious of the Virgin Mary in Cubao.

“On behalf of the city government, I would like to express my sincerest condolences to the whole RVM community for losing some of their sisters to COVID,” said Belmonte.

She added that the city has yet to receive official information from the religious facility itself, but she assures that the local government remains committed to extending assistance and support to all closed and long-term care facilities in the city “to control infection and to prevent deaths from possible future outbreaks”.

Belmonte has also tasked the Department of the Building Official, Department of the City Architect, and City Engineering Department to issue guidelines improving the infectious disease resiliency of these facilities through better ventilation among others.

She said this will help building administrators of closed and long-term care facilities retrofit their buildings and reduce COVID transmission.