Religious sisters in Peru offer free quarantine housing for COVID carriers

Nun at the prayer vigil for consecrated life in St Peters Square Jan 28 2016 Credit Alexey Gotovskiy CNA Alexey Gotovskiy/CNA

A group of Franciscan sisters in Ica, Peru, is offering a facility free of charge as temporary quarantine housing for coronavirus patients who are asymptomatic or experiencing only mild symptoms.

The temporary shelter was dedicated July 14 in La Tinguiña, Ica Province, one of the regions still under lockdown due to the large number of COVID-19 cases.

According to local media, the mother superior of the convent, Mother Rosa Fernández, made the commitment to provide rooms at no cost to infected people who need to quarantine until they are no longer contagious.

The rooms each contain their own bed and bathroom, with everything sanitized. The facility is the first of its kind in the region.

During the opening ceremony, Fernández asked God to bless the people who have made this initiative possible, as well as all who will use the facilities, that the Lord may restore their health "as soon as possible."

"If our humble house can be of any use, well, here it is," she said.

Local government and health officials were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony opening the housing facility, which will provide 30 beds.

The mayor of La Tinguiña, Juan Roque Hernández, stressed that Fernández is providing the housing for free.

"[She] is not charging us a dime for the room," he said.

In previous statements to local media, Mayor Hernández stressed that the temporary housing complies with healthy and safety protocols, and its use help create "an epidemiological fence that reduces the number of cases in the region."

The mayor stressed that this initiative also seeks to raise awareness among the people on the importance of temporary housing for people with COVID-19 in order to prevent the spread of the virus in the community.

According to the Ministry of Health, Peru has had more than 330,000 cases of the novel coronavirus with more than 12,000 deaths. The country ranks fifth worldwide in the number of COVID-19 cases, and the Ica region has more than 9,000 cases to date.

To prevent the pandemic from advancing, the country's government declared a mandatory national lockdown from March 16 to June 30. However, some areas remain under lockdown due to the high number of new daily cases.

This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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