The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has reported cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) infection here, breaking the Covid-free status of the zone since the outbreak began in March.
In a statement on Tuesday night, SBMA chairperson and administrator Amy Eisma reported the first two Covid-19 patients, who are residents of the Freeport Zone.
“While there has been no recorded local transmission of Covid-19 in the Freeport, we have now two residents who have tested positive of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the infection,” she said.
The first patient is a 22-year-old female who recently received a visitor from Manila while the second is a 42-year-old male, who works in Laguna and returns to Subic on weekends.
“Both are asymptomatic and in self-quarantine pending their transfer to an isolation and care facility,” Eisma said.
However, six other cases were found as results from the SBMA-Red Cross testing laboratory came in, Eisma said.
The six, she added, “are just visitors in the Freeport, who were tested at the SBMA-PRC testing facility”.
Two had reportedly left the Freeport before their swab test results came out, while the other four are now quarantined in Subic.
Based on records, the six new cases are all female. The first two, aged 40 and 45, are residents of Quezon City; the third is a 67-year-old from Palauig, Zambales; while the rest, aged 46, 17 and 14, are all residents of one address in Subic, Zambales.
Eisma said she had also gone into voluntary quarantine as a precautionary measure after attending the commissioning ceremony of BRP Jose Rizal, the country’s first missile frigate, at the Alava Pier last Friday.
She said she was informed that one of the Philippine Navy officials present in the ceremony had recently test positive for Covid-19.
She noted that all the reported positive cases in Subic seemed to be imported as six of them involved visitors to the Freeport while the first resident had a visitor from Manila and the other had history of travel to Laguna.
“So we’re confident that there is still no community transmission here in Subic and we want to keep it that way,” she added.
She said the SBMA is doing all necessary contact tracing and other safety procedures like disinfection of public facilities and offices “to ensure the continued safety of all.”
“While this may be the price of economic revival when we have to open our gates to help heal the economy, it becomes clearer that our only road out of this crisis is eternal vigilance and mutual responsibility,” Eisma said. (PNA)