With Leyte, Samar now under Alert Level 2 due to COVID-19 spike

TACLOBAN CITY– Amid report of increasing cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Eastern Visayas, young athletes and their coaches and chaperons of the regional athletic meet are directed to take all the necessary precautions to avoid any possible spread of the virus.

In fact, only vaccinated student-athletes, in particular, are allowed to join the five-day Eastern Visayas Regional Athletic Association (EVRRA) Meet that is to open formally on Tuesday (April 25).

Evelyn Fetalvero, the regional director of the Department of Education (DepEd), said that they are making all the necessary precautions fully aware of the increasing COVID-19 cases in the region, particularly the provinces of Leyte and Samar.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) has placed both provinces under Alert Level 2 which means protocols are to be strictly to be followed by certain establishments and activities would be allowed at 50% capacity if indoors for fully vaccinated adults and minors and 70% capacity for outdoors.
The classification starts on April 15 to 30.

“All our athletes, including their coaches and trainers, are fully vaccinated. And if the (sporting events) are held in a closed area, they are to wear face masks,” Fetalvero said.
Her assistant regional director, Ronnel Firmo said that another measure undertaken by the organizers was to spread the sporting event into different venues.

This way, crowding among spectators and athletes will be avoided. Aside from Tacloban, other venues are located in the towns of Palo, and Sta. Fe with 5,002 athletes participating and over 3,380 coaches and chaperons and officials.

For his part, Dr. Danilo Ecarma, the health officer of Tacloban, said that while the city remains to be Alert Level 1, they advise the public to follow the protocols.

He said that they should wear a face mask, especially if they are in a crowded area and if one is pregnant or has comorbidities.

At present, Tacloban has eight active COVID-19 cases.

Meantime, as of April 24, Leyte has nine active cases, an increase of just one case a week earlier, or April 17. Samar has five active cases, a decline of one case from same period.
The Leyte Samar Daily Express tried to contact health personnel of the two provinces but has yet to receive a response as of press time. (JOEY A. GABIETA)