Philippines: 9 Nuns Die in 8 Days from Covid-19

Elderly Members of Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM)

Nuns Covid-19
The main chapel inside the RVM compound in Quezon City. CBCP NEWS/FILE PHOTO

Nine elderly nuns of the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM) have died in eight days due to a Covid-19 outbreak at their convent in Quezon City, Philippines, reported CBCP News.

The nuns were all from the St. Joseph Home, a separate building inside the RVM compound on N. Domingo Street that houses the elderly and the infirm.

“Nine Sisters have passed away, all in the age range of 70 to 98 years, and with comorbidities,” the RVM Secretariat said in a statement.

The first Covid-related death inside the convent was recorded on Sept. 13, and the most recent was on Sept. 21.

The RVM compound has been on lockdown since Sept.15 after 62 nuns and 52 lay personnel tested positive for the coronavirus.

The congregation said many communities reside in different buildings inside the compound, but the nuns and lay staff are only in one building.

“Among the 62 Sisters afflicted, two are already fully recovered, 38 are experiencing mild/moderate symptoms, and 13 are considered severe,” the statement added.

The affected nuns and personnel, according to the RVM, continue to be monitored and receive treatment.

As of Wednesday, the RMV said that 50 of the 52 lay personnel who had tested positive of Covid-19 “are on the way to full recovery”.

Meanwhile, the congregation has appealed for understanding in their request for privacy for the patients “and enable us to focus time and attention on their complete healing and full recovery”.

The RVM also warned the public against “fraudulent solicitation drives” on behalf of the congregation.

Those who wish to send assistance are advised to coordinate directly with the RVM Secretariat through the following numbers: (02) 8723-4414 or 0920-4181981.

The Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary is a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical community of pontifical right founded in Manila in 1684 by the Filipina laywoman Venerable Mother Ignacia del Espíritu Santo.

In 2016 there were over 700 RVM sisters, mainly from the Philippines. They run a university and 58 other schools and have works in seven countries outside the Philippines. From the start, they cultivated an apostolic, Ignatian spirituality and have retreat houses along with their other diverse works.