Public health authorities from the Quezon City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) are currently looking into the possible cause of a Covid-19 outbreak in a convent where about 114 individuals tested positive. Massive contact tracing efforts are also underway to contain further transmission of the virus.

Fifty members of staff and 64 nuns tested positive at the Religious of the Virgin Mary in Cubao. According to City health officials, none of the nuns are vaccinated because they had their schedule cancelled. However the staff are fully vaccinated.

CESU Chief Dr. Rolando Cruz said his team became aware of the situation after the cases were recorded in the surveillance data reported by a testing laboratory.

“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 surveillance data.

Now, our team is conducting an investigation and intensive contact tracing to get more details about the matter,” said Cruz.

He added that part of the ongoing investigation is to determine if any of the positive individuals had any close contact with anyone outside of their facility.

The RVM has been placed under Special Concern Lockdown (SCL) since September 14.

Meanwhile, a report received earlier today reveals that another religious institution, the Convent of the Holy Spirit, which had 90 residents, has yielded 22 positive cases. Investigations are still being carried out. The convent had likewise been declared a Special Concern Lockdown.

Following a similar incident last week where more than 100 individuals including children, tested positive for Covid 19, Mayor Joy Belmonte has directed 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 streetchildren, halfway homes for victims of violence and abuse, hospices, and correctional facilities among others, and instructed them to be more proactive in conducting testing and reviewing the health protocols being observed by these caring facilities and other high-risk institutions.

The City Architect and the Department of the Building Official have also been tapped to recommend ways in which these facilities can retrofit their buildings to make them more resistant to virus transmission.

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 so infections can be rapidly curtailed.

“Patuloy po ang pagpapaalala natin na doblehin ang pag-iingat at agad na tumawag sa ating CESU kung may nakitaan ng sintomas sa inyong mga kasama. Mahalaga na maaga at maagap ang ating pagkilos para maiwasan ang mas maraming hawahan. Lagi naman tayong nakahandang rumesponde,” said Belmonte.