COVID-19 outbreak hits QC orphanage; 122 infected, mostly children

A total of 122 children and personnel of the Gentlehands Orphanage in Barangay Bagumbuhay, Quezon City have tested positive for COVID-19.


Out of the total number, 99 are children with ages 18 and below.


A total of 143 individuals were tested and 118 yielded positive results for COVID-19 while four were identified as index cases.


Mayor Joy Belmonte said those who tested positive in the orphanage are already under quarantine based on their health condition to prevent the further transmission of the virus.


The Office of the City Mayor immediately sent paracetamol, vitamins, hygiene kits, face masks, alcohol, and food packs to the orphanage. 


According to Quezon City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) head Dr. Rolly Cruz, the orphanage has 163 residents including children and personnel, of which 143 tested for COVID-19.



Cruz said three male staff allegedly went out of the orphanage to get their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine last Aug. 13. Six days later, one of the children developed symptoms. 


The remaining individuals who were not swabbed include 14 children aged zero to one-year-old and two children between three and 10 years of age.


As for the 32 staff, the CESU said five are fully vaccinated, 19 are partially vaccinated, while eight are waiting for vaccination schedules.


“Kailangang mapanatili ng mga ganitong closed long-term care facilities ang mahigpit na protocols dahil kahit isang kaso lang ang makapasok sa kanila ay madaling mahahawa ang lahat (Such closed long-term care facilities must maintain strict protocols because even if only one case enters them, everyone can be easily infected),” Cruz said. 


Belmonte called for the stricter implementation of health protocols to avoid COVID-19 outbreaks.


“Mariin nating ipinapaala na ang hindi pagsunod o hindi pagpapatupad ng minimum public health protocols ay paglabag sa RA 11332. Dapat maging mahigpit ang ating persons in authority sa pagpapatupad nito para maiwasan natin ang pagkalat ng virus (We strongly warn that non-compliance with or non-implementation of minimum public health protocols is a violation of RA 11332. Our persons in authority must be strict in enforcing them so that we can prevent the spread of the virus),” she said. 


“Patuloy nating papalawigin ang ating swab testing at contact tracing program para maabot ang mga gaya nitong high-risk closed facilities (We will continue to expand our swab testing and contact tracing program to reach such high-risk closed facilities),” she added.