CEBU CITY, Philippines – At least 5 persons from the convent of Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu, located in Osmeña Boulevard, tested positive for the coronavirus, the local health department confirmed on Monday, June 8.
The Cebu City Health Department took a total of 41 swab tests that were performed consecutively last May 29 at the convent and last June 1 at the health center of Barangay Tinago.
The 5 personnel who tested positive are asymptomatic and currently on their 13th day of quarantine in the Basilica convent.
Testing of convent members was done immediately after suspected cases of COVID-19 were detected last May 25, said Fr Andres Rivera Jr, provincial superior of Augustinian friars.
Two primary contacts of the first suspected case had been quarantined in separate rooms inside the Basilica convent. Seven secondary contacts were also quarantined.
Prior to the first advisory released by the basilica on May 29, all friars and personnel were already observing strict quarantine protocols to prevent the possible spread of the virus within the convent.
The Office of the Prior Provincial informed the public that the church will not yet be open for public worship. The church is currently being sanitized in line with the local government’s safety procedures and protocols.
The public can still take part in online Masses via the Basilica’s official Facebook page.
As of Sunday, June 7, the number of coronavirus cases in Cebu City has reached 2,756. The city is under general community quarantine until June 15.
Confirmed cases in the country exceeded 22,000 on Monday, June 8. According to the Department of Health, 161 of the 579 new cases were from Central Visayas. – Rappler.com