103 positive for COVID at Hospicio de San Jose; shelter appeals for help

Published August 23, 2021, 8:36 AM

by Isabel de Leon

At least 103 wards and personnel of Hospicio de San Jose, a shelter for orphans, the homeless, and the elderly in Manila, are positive for COVID-19, three of whom were rushed to the hospital for treatment, as the shelter issued an urgent appeal for donations to help in the treatment of the sick and the upkeep of the facility.


Sr. Maria Socorro Pilar Evidente, administrator of Hospicio de San Jose, said three senior citizens who are wards of the facility have been brought to the hospital for treatment while 49 of their children clients tested positive for COVID-19.

“We are buying their medicines and vials as these are sometimes not provided by the hospital,” she said.

The facility has more than 450 wards and personnel, 103 of whom turned out positive for COVID-19.

More than 50 of its personnel have been vaccinated against COVID-19 through the Manila Health Department’s vaccination program.

Evidente appealed for donations of cash, meat products, and other essentials so Hospicio de San Jose can feed the 450 people who are locked down in the facility since March 2020. Of this number, 180 are Hospicio personnel, 13 are nuns, 276 are wards, and the rest are dependents of the facility’s personnel.

“We’ve long been under lockdown and we have to feed our people three meals a day,” Evidente told dzBB in an interview.

She said the surge in COVID-19 cases in the facility could be because some of their personnel had to go out of the facility for their medical and dental appointments.

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

Under lockdown, only those who need to do important transactions with the bank and the government are allowed to go out, Evidente said.

Hospicio de San Jose, the charity arm of the Archdiocese of Manila, was established in 1810, initially as a shelter for beggars. It also became a mental asylum. At present, it is serving children, the elderly, special children, and women and children in crisis.