TACLOBAN CITY- An upland interior village in Basey town, Samar province, has now become a hot spot area for coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19).
Barangay Villa Aurora, more than 10 kms away from the town center, 41 COVID-19 cases, more than half of the 70 cases of Basey.
The village first case involved a 77-year old man who is suffering from a chronic ailment and confined at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center(EVRMC, based this city.
On August 8, Mayor Luz Ponferrada placed the entire town of more than 1, 200 people, in a lockdown that is to end on August 21. This bars the villagers to go out Villa Aurora.
The move is to ensure that the virus would be contain. The villagers, who depend on agriculture as their livelihood, are being provided with foods by the local government unit.
The DOH said that most of the new infected people of the village were friends, relatives or family members of the 77-year old man, to include his daughter and wife.
Until now, the authorities have yet to determine where the man got the virus as he was known to have no travel history.
The DOH has identified Basey, due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Villa Aurora, as one of the areas in the region where there is a localized cases of the dread virus.
“Since the affected barangay has been on lockdown for days, and the nearby barangays have been restricted in their movements, we are hopeful that we will get through this crisis soon,” Mayor Ponferrada said.
Aside from Villa Aurora, also placed under lockdown were its neighboring villages of Cancaiyas and Balante.
Of the 41 COVID-19 patients of the village, 18 are already isolated at the Municipal Ligtas COVID-19 Center (MLCC), while three are confined at the EVRMC.
Dr. Ludina Insigne, DOH8 medical surveillance officer, who visited the village to gather swab samples from the identified close contacts of the early confirmed patients disclosed that during their visit, they noticed that some residents were not following the health protocols.
“We were able to talk to village officials and reiterated to follow the lockdown imposed by the municipality because we have observed that some residents were still living their respective homes and even the village,” she said.
“We also reiterate to them the importance of following the protocol as well as for the community to cooperate to stop spreading the virus,” she added.
In the lockdown imposed by the municipality, minors, senior citizens and pregnant women including those with high risk of infection are prohibited from leaving their respective homes.
Residents are also advised to continue observing and following health protocols such as wearing of face masks, physical distancing and proper handwashing, and social gathering while the village is under lockdown is prohibited.