Catholic nun appeals for help as COVID-19 cases overwhelm Manila orphanage

Jose Torres Jr.   By Jose Torres Jr. for CNA


Hospicio de San Jose in Manila. Credit: Tomenbang/Ursua/Villapando via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0) / nullanila, Philippines, 

Aug 24, 2021 / 09:32 am (CNA).

A Catholic nun has appealed for help as COVID-19 cases overwhelm the Hospicio de San Jose, an orphanage run by the Archdiocese of Manila.

At least 103 wards and personnel of the Church-run shelter for orphans and homeless have been found positive for COVID-19, with at least three already brought to the hospital.

Sister Maria Socorro Pilar Evidente of the Daughters of Charity, administrator of Hospicio de San Jose, said three elderly persons and 49 children tested positive for the virus this week.

The nun appealed for donations as the facility was placed under lockdown with its 180 personnel, 13 nuns, 276 wards, and dependents of the facility’s personnel.

“We’ve long been under lockdown and we have to feed our people three meals a day,” said the nun over a radio interview Aug. 23.

Sister Evidente said the surge in COVID-19 cases in the facility this week could be traced to personnel who had to go out for medical check-up.

“Those who went to see their doctors, most of them turned out positive for COVID-19,” said the nun.

She said the rate of increase in cases was “quick,” unlike in April to June when COVID-19 cases were first reported in the facility.

The Philippines’ Department of Health reported a slight decrease in new COVID-19 cases Aug. 24, with 12,067 infections.

The relatively low tally was due to a lower laboratory output Aug. 22, said the health department.

The country has now a total of more than 1.8 million COVID-19 cases, including 127,703 active ones.

Of the active cases, 95.5% are mild, 1.7% are asymptomatic, 1.2% are severe, and 0.6% are in critical condition.

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