58 kids, teens contract COVID-19 in Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City shelter homes

Published August 10, 2021, 2:41 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – At least 31 children, aged 6 to 19 who live in a government-run shelter in Lapu-Lapu City have tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Most of those infected were asymptomatic while some exhibited mild symptoms such as cough, said Abeth Cuizon, officer-in-charge of the City Social Welfare and Development Office.

Aside from the 31 shelter occupants, two personnel of the Home Care Center for Children in Barangay Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu also contracted the virus, Cuizon said.

The facility houses children in conflict with the law (CICL) and minors who are victims of abuse who have been turned over by the court.

The facility has 46 “residents” and 32 personnel.

Cuizon said the infection among the children was discovered when one of them underwent a swab test.

“He was scheduled to be released and was preparing to travel to Iloilo. As part of the travel requirements, he underwent swab testing and it was there that he was found to be COVID-19 positive,” said Cuizon.

Cuizon said it is possible that one of the infected personnel was the source of the virus.

“That’s our suspicion because they are in and out of the facility. They work in shifts,” Cuizon said.

The facility has been placed under lockdown and regular disinfection will be conducted.

The city government has provided food and vitamins for the children.

On-call doctors and medical personnel are also available to check on the children’s condition, Cuizon said.

The city is under modified Enhanced Community Quarantine from August 1-15. As of August 9, the city has 1,679 active COVID-19 cases, 7,751 recoveries and 211 deaths.


Meanwhile, a facility that houses underprivileged individuals was locked down after 27 of its occupants were found to be infected with the coronavirus.

The facility, which is run by a non-profit organization, is located in Barangay Talamban.

Councilor Joel Garganera, chief of the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), refused to identify the facility to protect the privacy of the concerned individuals.

Garganera said most of those infected are aged 15 to 20.

“It’s a religious facility. They house children who have the potential in excelling but cannot afford to go school. There, they are being taught and housed for free,” said Garganera.

Garganera said the 27 individuals have been isolated in the facility. Contact tracing has already been done.

“Hopefully in the afternoon and evening, we will be able to find out how the virus got there, and if some of them exhibit symptoms,” he added.

Food packs and other essential items will be provided for the infected patients while they are in isolation, said Garganera.