Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila tested positive of COVID-19, two days after a religious congregation in the Philippine capital announced that 62 of its nuns were positive of the disease.
In a statement released on Friday, September 17, the Archdiocese of Manila said that aside from a “slight fever,” the archbishop “does not feel any other symptoms.”
He is in quarantine, observing strict protocols. Doctors are also monitoring his condition,” read the statement.
Earlier, the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary said 62 of its nuns and at least 50 of its staff — caregivers, health aides, and drivers — also tested positive for the disease.
In a statement released on September 15, the religious congregation said the infections were confirmed after the nuns were tested on September 10.
The congregation said that since September 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 cases, including 13 nuns and nine staff members, in one of its convents, also in the national capital.
The congregation said one of the nuns has since succumbed to the disease.
A statement by the city’s Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit said it has started investigating how the nuns were infected.
The nuns were still waiting to be vaccinated, according to health officials, although all the staff members were fully vaccinated.
The sisters said the outbreak may have been caused by an asymptomatic visitor to one of their elderly sisters.
“We seldom leave the convent. But from time to time we allow fully vaccinated visitors to visit especially if they are family members of our elderly sisters,” read the congregation’s statement.
The Philippines on Friday reported 20,336 new COVID-19 cases, with deaths counting more than 300, the highest in almost a month.
The country’s total COVID-19 cases stood at 2,324,475, with active infections at 188,108 or 8.1 percent of the running tally.
Positivity rate is at 26.6 percent based on the test results of 75,766 people, according to the health department’s latest bulletin, equivalent to one positive result out of every four tests.
Experts earlier said community transmission of the more contagious Delta variant and the public’s violation of health protocols have contributed to the country’s record infections.
The Philippines shifted to an alert level quarantine scheme this week in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 cases while trying to revive the pandemic-battered economy.