NINETY-NINE children aged 18 and under, and 23 adults in the Gentle Hands Orphanage in Quezon City (QC) were infected with the novel coronavirus after an adult, who was not aware that he had the virus, visited them, Mayor Joy Belmonte said Thursday, September 9, 2021.
Belmonte said the City Government immediately sent supplies to the facility, including medicines, vitamins, hygiene kits, face masks, alcohol and food packs.
The City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (Cesu) said it was closely monitoring everyone in the facility, especially the children.
This prompted Belmonte to remind the management of workplaces and other high-risk closed facilities to strictly implement minimum public health protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“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,” said Belmonte.
The Cesu said it was conducting active surveillance of other closed settings, such as nursing homes, to prevent similar incidents.
In a Facebook post, the agency running Gentle Hands Orphanage asked for prayers for the children and staff, as well as food and other supplies since the place is under total lockdown.
"After 540 days of strict quarantine during this pandemic (with no visitors at all), we were quite shocked to find our home positive for Covid. We are thankful for God's continued grace and wisdom as we navigate this time. Please keep the children and all our staff in your prayers. Of course, food and other supplies will be welcome since we are on total lockdown," the agency stated. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo / SunStar Philippines)