Mayor Joy Belmonte has tasked the Quezon City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (QCESU) to closely monitor and make an inventory of all closed-setting and long-term care facilities in the city as outbreaks among them continue to be reported.
The said facilities include convents, orphanages, 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.
“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 will test them and check if they have strict health protocols in place,” Belmonte said.
Mayor Belmonte also directed CESU to determine the vaccination status of individuals staying or working in these facilities and convince the unvaccinated to do so.
“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,” she added.
The second convent struck by COVID was identified to be the Convent of Holy Spirit at Barangay Immaculate Conception. Of the positive cases, 13 are nuns and 9 are staff including the first index case. Of the 22, 14 are fully-vaccinated while the rest have not received any vaccine.
According to QCESU Chief Dr. Rolando Cruz, the convent has a population of 90 individuals, of which 46 were swabbed by the city last September 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 21 were positive.
In addition, there was one index case which brings the total positive cases to 22.
Cruz said the first index case in the facility is a Physical Therapist who was reportedly exposed to a nun who had succumbed to the virus early September.
Meanwhile, majority of the nuns who tested positive are between 80 to 101 years old.
The Convent was put under the care of doctors from St. Luke’s Medical Center for monitoring, while the patient was being cared for by caregivers who were not infected by the virus.
The Office of the City Mayor swiftly attended to the needs of the facility’s residents by sending paracetamol, vitamins, hygiene kits, face masks, alcohol, soap, rice, and food packs.
The facility was put under Special Concern Lockdown (SCL) since September 15.