Manila Philippines mask covid
People wearing face masks and face shields as protection from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) queue outside a newly reopened historical site, in Manila, Philippines, February 18, 2021. Image Credit: Reuters

Manila: As COVID-19 patients fill Philippine hospitals to the brim, officials say the virus has hit an orphanage and infected almost 100 children.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said the outbreak in the orphanage could have been prevented and “the children could have been saved from the life-threatening risks of COVID” had minimum health standards been followed strictly.

Of the 122 people infected, 99 are age 18 and younger while the rest are personnel of the Gentlehands Orphanage, the mayor said in a statement Thursday.

The virus apparently spread when an adult who was infected but didn’t have symptoms visited the orphanage in the city in metropolitan Manila.

The Philippines reported 12,751 new cases and 174 deaths on Wednesday and has now counted 2.1 million cases with 34,672 deaths.