The Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary in Manila announced the death of eight elderly nuns who were earlier diagnosed as positive of the coronavirus disease.
The nuns were between 80 and 90 years old and were among the 62 sisters who were earlier reported to have been infected with COVID-19 in a convent in Quezon City.
Sister Ma. Anicia Co, RVM, the congregation’s spokesperson said that 52 convent staff and personnel were also infected with the virus.
“The personnel are still young so they are on the road to recovery,” said Sister Co in an interview over Church-run Veritas 846.
“Some Sisters are moving from symptomatic to asymptomatic. Eight of the Sisters, aged 90s and 80s, afflicted with COVID-19 returned home to our Heavenly Father,” she said.
The nun also clarified reports that the reason of the “outbreak” inside the convent was due to the refusal of the nuns and the personnel to get vaccinated.
She said some of the nuns and the personnel were already vaccinated since May. Sister Co said the eight nuns who died were not vaccinated because they were already sick.
“It was not the decision of the congregation, nor the leaders nor the Sister Administrator of the St. Joseph Home that they would not be vaccinated,” said the nun.
“The Sister Administrator actually followed up later for their vaccination but it did not come soon,” she said.
“Please pray for us especially our Sisters in St. Joseph Home,” Sister Co appealed to the public.
“May our sisters come to full recovery. May God grant strength to our other sisters in the communities in the compound strength to continue serving the affected community,” the nun added.
In an earlier statement, the religious congregation said the infections were confirmed after the nuns were tested on Sept. 10.
The congregation said that, since Sept. 14, the entire convent located in Quezon City “has been on lockdown” and is “fully cooperating” with health officials.
Another religious congregation of nuns, the Holy Spirit Sisters, also reported 22 COVID cases and one death.
In one of its convents, which is also located in the national capital, 13 nuns and nine staff members tested positive for COVID; the congregation said that one of the nuns has since died of the disease.
On Tuesday, the Philippines’ Department of Health reported 16,361 new COVID-19 infections, pushing the country’s total case count to 2,401,916.
The new cases brought the country’s active cases to 171,142, of which 92.4% are mild, 2.8% are asymptomatic, 1.4% are severe, and 0.6% are in critical condition.
The total recovery count increased to 2,193,700 after 21,974 more patients defeated the viral disease.
The death toll rose to 37,074 with 140 new fatalities.
Further, data from the DOH also showed that 78% of the country’s intensive care unit beds are utilized, while 58% of the mechanical ventilators are also in use.
In Metro Manila, 78% of the ICU beds are in use, while 64% of the ventilators are utilized.