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Covid outbreak in Philippine convent kills nine nuns

Congregation claims elderly sisters would likely have survived if their vaccinations had not been canceled

Covid outbreak in Philippine convent kills nine nuns

The gates to the convent belonging to the Religious of the Virgin Mary sisters in Manila remain shut following a coronavirus outbreak which has killed nine nuns. (Photo: YouTube) 

Nine nuns have died while several others are in critical condition after a Covid-19 outbreak last week struck down 62 sisters of the Religious of the Virgin Mary, the biggest female congregation in the Philippines.

The dead nuns, aged 80 to 90, died due to a lack of vaccine, the congregation said on Sept. 23.

“They did not receive their vaccines because their appointments were canceled. They were in grave danger because of their age,” Sister Maria Anicia Co told Catholic-run Radio Veritas.

Sister Co said not everyone in the congregation received their anti-Covid jabs because several nuns were bedridden and could not get to a vaccine station.

“All nine nuns who died were not vaccinated,” she said, adding the nuns who were vaccinated and infected were recovering.

She claimed the deaths could have been avoided if vaccinations had been given in their convent. “Arrangements had been made to do that but the vaccinations did not come soon enough.”

An asymptomatic visitor is believed to have caused the outbreak

The congregation’s convent in Manila has been in lockdown since the outbreak was reported on Sept. 14.

The congregation initially recorded 114 cases with 62 nuns infected together with medical and other staff at the convent.

An asymptomatic visitor is believed to have caused the outbreak.

At least four religious houses in Manila, including that of the Religious of the Virgin Mary, have been quarantined in the last two weeks because of Covid-19 outbreaks.

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Christ the King Mission Seminary, the Convent of the Holy Spirit and the Stella Maris Convent have all been locked down.

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