E. Visayas Probes Possible Local COVID-19 Transmissions

E. Visayas Probes Possible Local COVID-19 Transmissions

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The Department of Health (DOH) is investigating three areas in Eastern Visayas for possible community transmission of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

These are in Calbayog City and Basey town, both in Samar, and in Tacloban City, the regional capital, DOH Eastern Visayas director Minerva Molon said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We have enhanced surveillance in these areas to prevent further spread of the virus. They have reported cases with no travel history but with exposure to confirmed patients,” she added.

For the past days, Basey reported a surge of Covid-19 cases due to local transmission of the virus.

From just 29 cases on August 3, the town now has 79 cases, 50 of which are residents of Villa Aurora village.

The infected residents are family members and close contacts of two confirmed patients, a 77-year-old man, and his 37-year-old daughter, both admitted at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center here.

“Based on the ongoing investigation, the infected individuals are distributed in five family households, which is a sign of possible community outbreak or transmission of the virus,” Molon said.

The village, home to over 1,000 people, remains under total lockdown until August 22, the local government said.

In Tacloban, the regional office has noted the clustering of cases or those communities with two or more reported infections.

“There are reports of localized transmission in the city. The good thing is that the city implements an effective contact tracing system, but we continuously monitor the city considering its big population,” Molon said.

The city has confirmed a total of 100 cases as of Tuesday, she added.

The DOH also monitors Catbalogan City for possible community transmission of the virus.

Molon said the city has confirmed a total of 95 cases since the outbreak, 24 of which are new cases, all health workers at the Samar Provincial Hospital in Catbalogan.

“Fort the past few days, they have reported cases with no travel history. What worries us is that one of its patients is a food vendor, who hops from one place to another,” she added.

Molon clarified that the region has no confirmed community transmission yet as these areas are still under surveillance for further investigation.

“We are working closely with the local government units for the contact tracing efforts and prevent the possible local transmission. We advised the public to remain vigilant and strictly practice minimum health standards, such as the wearing of a face mask, physical distancing, and hand hygiene,” she added.

To date, the region has confirmed a total of 1,680 cases, including 1,036 recoveries and six deaths. (PNA)

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