Seminarian confined in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus

A STUDENT in the Theology Department of the Seminario Mayor de San Carlos in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City has been admitted to a private hospital after testing positive for Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

According to Archdiocese of Cebu spokesman Msgr. Joseph Tan, it’s the first Covid case in the seminary.

In an interview on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, Tan said the patient arrived from Tagum, Davao del Norte after the Christmas and New Year holidays, but he did not have a specific date.

Tan said the patient is now confined at the Perpetual Succour Hospital in Cebu City.

He said students in the Theology Department have to be physically present for their formation to priesthood.

“Their formation requires presence. So, we’ve coordinated with the barangay to follow protocol requirements. It was because of that we were able to discover that the student from Tagum was positive for the disease,” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Theology students, whether from Cebu or outside Cebu, are required to get tested for Covid-19 upon their arrival and to undergo mandatory quarantine in the seminary, Tan said. Because of this, he assured that there was no risk of transmission, considering that students from the seminary’s college and high school departments have been taking online classes since the lockdown in March last year.

Meanwhile, the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is monitoring the condition of 30 seminarians who had contact with the patient who tested positive.

City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the EOC, said all of them have been swabbed and isolated.

As part of protocol, seminarians are swabbed before they can enter the “bubble” inside the seminary compound, Garganera said.

The seminarians arrived on Jan. 5 and were placed in separate rooms pending their test results.

Even if they tested negative, they still had to undergo a 14-day quarantine, Garganera said.

He said it’s not the first time that the EOC has monitored a facility like a seminary, adding that they were forced to lock down a convent after some of the nuns tested positive for Covid-19.

Garganera said the EOC is on top of the situation and “everything is under control.” (WBS, JJL)


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