Region’s COVID-19 cases now at 1,464
By: Lizbeth Ann A. Abella/Ronald O. Reyes
TACLOBAN CITY- As the coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19) cases continue to balloon in the region, the Department of Health(DOH) confirms of two new deaths due to the dreaded virus.
The two COVID-19 deaths of the region involved a 74-year old woman from Dulag town and an 80-year old man from Ormoc City.
With this latest deaths, the region has now six confirmed COVID-19 fatalities.
Dr. Exuperia Sabalberino, DOH assistant regional director, said that the 80-year old man, a locally stranded individual, died on August 7.
His swab result came out after his death.
Meantime, the 74-year old woman died on August 11, the day her swab result was released.
Both were suffering from pre-existing medical conditions and were buried immediately, Sabalberino said during a virtual press conference on Wednesday (August 12).
The DOH in the region has earlier confirmed COVID-19 deaths from the towns of Tarangan and Calbayog City, both in Samar province; Kawayan, Biliran province; and Kananga, Leyte province.
Among infected of the COVID-19 cases were five caretakers.
They came from the towns of Lawaan, Eastern Samar; Villareal in Samar province; and Tanauan in Leyte province.
All patients are now confined at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC), this city.
John Paul Roca, information officer of the DOH, said that considering that these new patients were exposed to the virus while attending their loved ones at the EVRMC, there is no way that they could spread the virus.
“It’s not alarming because they never went out of the hospital. They have high risk of exposure since they were direct contacts of the confirmed cases. They were there because their patients need assistance,” he said.
The patients, Roca said, have pre-existing medical conditions reason why they need to have somebody close to them while they were in confinement.
Also infected were a doctor from Palo town, Leyte and a nurse in Catarman, Northern Samar. Both got the infection from COVID-19 patients.
In Catarman, its rural health unit was shut down on Friday for disinfection.
This week, the COVID-19 cases of the region rose by more than 130. As of Friday, the region has now total cases of 1,464.
And obviously alarmed on the rising COVID-19 cases of the region, the DOH has called on the public and different government agencies to closely cooperate to help slowdown the progress of the dreaded virus in the region.
Dr. Exuperia Sabalberino, the assistant regional director of the DOH, said that there are now several areas in the region which have ‘local cases’ which means the affected individuals were infected of the virus from an individual within their areas or villages.
Among these areas is in Basey, Samar, particularly in Barangay Villa Aurora where it has now 41 cases of which eight were children.
The town has a total 70 COVID-19 cases.
The Basey municipal government has imposed lockdown last August 8 in Villa Aurora which has more than 1,000 residents and provided food packs to them as a way to contain further spread of the virus. The lockdown is to end on August 22.
Aside from Basey, the DOH has also identified the following areas in Eastern Visayas which have local cases of COVID-19: Palo, Carigara, Tanauan, Barugo, Matag-ob, and the cities of Ormoc and Tacloban, all in Leyte; Almeria in Biliran; and Lawaan and Giporlos, both in Eastern Samar.
“We are calling for the cooperation of the different government agencies and the public. During this time of pandemic, we all need to act as one. We need a whole-of-government, whole-of-system approach,” Sabalberino said.
(And) with the increasing trend of COVID-19 cases in the region, the DOH and our government will be implementing stricter enforcement of localized lockdowns and CODE,” she added.
CODE, which stands for coordinated operations to defeat COVID-19, is a patient and community-focused approach wherein the DOH assists the local government units through community engagement activities to effectively address further spread of the virus.