At least 15 areas in Eastern Visayas have reported local transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the Department of Health (DOH) said on Thursday.
These include the cities of Tacloban and Ormoc, and the towns of Palo, Carigara, Tanauan, Barugo, Matag-ob, and Dulag in Leyte; the cities of Catbalogan and Calbayog, and the towns of Basey, and Villareal in Samar; the towns of Lawaan and Giporlos in Eastern Samar; and Almeria in Biliran province; according to DOH Eastern Visayas assistant regional director Exuperia Sabalberino in a virtual press briefing.
“Specific areas in these towns and cities have reported cases with no travel history but with exposure to confirmed patients. The regional epidemiology and surveillance unit has been working with concerned local government units (LGU) for the contact tracing,” she said.
One of these areas is Villa Aurora village in Basey, Samar which remains under lockdown until August 22, after 39 residents have contracted the virus.
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.
The DOH regional office said they are monitoring some 48 villages across the region with clustering of Covid-19 cases or those communities with two or more reported cases.
Based on the DOH monitoring report, the region has 1,421 cases, including 927 recoveries and four deaths from Leyte, Biliran, and Samar.
The regional office confirmed 58 new cases Wednesday night from the 814 swab results released by the two Covid-19 laboratories here, the state-run Eastern Visayas Regional Covid-19 Testing Center and the privately-managed Divine Word Hospital.
Of the new cases, 31 are from Leyte – six in Tacloban City, four in Ormoc City, three in Barugo town, two each in Albuera, Dulag, Matalom, Mayorga, Tabontabon, and Palo, and one each in Palompon, Jaro, Merida, Alangalang, Javier, and Tolosa.
Samar reported 25 new infections – 20 in Villa Aurora village in Basey, three in Sta. Margarita, one in Calbayog City and one in Villareal.
The towns of Gamay in Northern Samar and Biliran, Biliran have one new case each.
The region reported its first patient on March 23 and from just 40 cases on June 1, the number has surged significantly due to testing of returning residents, including overseas Filipino workers and locally stranded individuals, mostly coming from Metro Manila and Cebu.
With the increasing trend in Covid-19 cases, the DOH urged LGUs to implement localized lockdowns to prevent further spread of the virus.
The regional office also reiterated its information campaign, dubbed “BIDA Solusyon”, which promotes four key behaviors that would help reduce the possible transmission of Covid-19.
“Always bear in mind BIDA or B, Bawal walang mask (Not wearing a face mask is not allowed); I, I-sanitize and mga kamay at iwas hawak sa mga bagay (Sanitize your hands and avoid touching surfaces); D, Dumistansiya ng isang metro (Keep your distance at one meter); and A, Alamin ang totoong impormasyon (Know the factual information),” Sabalberino said.
To date, the region has 490 active cases in hospitals, community isolation units, and temporary monitoring and treatment facilities. (PNA)