To stop spread of COVID-19

TACLOBAN CITY- Caroling and parties during this Christmas season have been banned in  Leyte and Northern Samar provinces  due to the pandemic caused by coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
This was announced by Palo town Mayor Frances Ann Petilla, president of the Leyte Mayors’ League, who said that the move is to address any further spread of COVID-19 across the province.
“We are expecting every Leyteño to understand and to follow the protocols as we continue our fight against the coronavirus,” Petilla said.
Here in Tacloban City, the provincial capital of Leyte though not under the administrative control of the provincial government being a highly urbanized city, Mayor Alfred Romualdez issued an executive order which also prohibits caroling and other Christmas-related activities that could attract mass gatherings.
Tacloban is the only area in the region to be placed under a strict general community quarantine status until the end of the year due to its high number of COVID-19 cases.
Romualdez, however, said that COVID-19 cases in the city is now under control and declining for the past weeks now.
Other areas in the region have also made similar move like in Northern Samar where Governor Edwin Marino Ongchuan issued Executive Order 12-01 last Monday.
Ongchuan bans any holding of Christmas parties in all government offices and by all local government units to include in the barangays.
In Ormoc City, its molecular laboratory which examines swab samples has started its operation on Saturday.
The Ormoc Molecular Diagnostic Center is located at the Ormoc Sugarcane Planters Association (OSPA) – Farmers Medical Center where it could process up to 1,200 swab samples.
It is now the region’s third such facility accredited by the Department of Health (DOH).
The two first molecular laboratories in the region are the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) and at the Divine Word Hospital, both in Tacloban City.
On its first day of operations, it processed 69 laboratory results of which 16 turned positive with the remaining were tested negative.
The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) donated the testing equipment worth P27 million while the Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corp (Pasar) donated the testing kits.
EDC, the country’s biggest geothermal company, operates in Kananga and Ormoc City while Pasar, which is into copper smelter and refinery, is based in Isabel town also in Leyte.
Meantime, the number of COVID-19 cases in Eastern Visayas has breached the 9,000 mark as the DOH reported of 15 new cases on Monday.
This means, the region’s total COVID-19 case since March of this year is at 9,016 cases.
The new 53 cases were from Leyte province with 10 cases; four from Samar and one from Eastern Samar.