At least 62 nuns in a convent of the Religious of the Virgin Mary congregation in Quezon City in the Philippine capital have been found positive of COVID-19.
At least 50 others in the convent — caregivers, health aides, and drivers — also tested positive of the disease, said media reports quoting city officials.
In a statement released on Wednesday, September 15, the religious congregation said the infections were confirmed after the nuns were tested on September 10.
The congregation said that since September 14 the entire convent “has been on lockdown and fully cooperating” with the government on health quarantine measures.
“The convent has an infirmary, which, together with the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team, closely monitors and manages the cases,” read the congregation’s statement.
The statement did not mention if there are staff of the convent who also contracted the virus although the city’s epidemiology and disease surveillance unit earlier reported that about 50 others also tested positive of the disease.
A statement on social media by the city’s Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit said it has started investigating how the individuals were infected.
The nuns were reportedly not vaccinated although all the staff members were fully vaccinated.
Dr. Rolando Cruz, head of the surveillance unit, was quoted by media reports saying that his team became aware of the situation upon seeing the surveillance data recorded by the laboratory that tested the nuns and staff members.
“It was not us who swabbed them. They had themselves tested by another [laboratory], and when the result came out from the laboratory, it was recorded in the surveillance data,” Cruz said.
Another convent with 90 residents earlier recorded 22 COVID-19 cases and has been placed under “special concern lockdown.”
As of Wednesday, Quezon City has a total of 12,491 active cases.