Eastern Samar isolates 14 health workers with virus exposure

At least 14 health workers in Borongan City, Eastern Samar are now isolated following their exposure to a coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patient from a nearby town.


Borongan Mayor Dayan Agda said in a radio interview on Monday that these health workers, identified through contact tracing over the weekend, have been isolated while waiting for the result of their swab tests.


“We are monitoring the families of these 14 who had exposure to the patient. We expect to get the result of swab tests of these health workers on Tuesday,” Agda said.


The Covid-19 positive is a resident of nearby Llorente town admitted at the city’s Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital (ESPH) on Friday. ESPH is a facility supervised by the provincial government.


In a statement on Sunday, the Eastern Samar provincial health office said the quarantine of ESPH workers was only done as part of the protocol for people subjected to swabbing.


“All health care workers who are contacts of a confirmed case regardless of risk are really swabbed. As we previously posted almost all of them have low risk and the swab was merely a matter of protocol, as is the quarantine,” the local health office said.


The Covid-19 infected person tagged as Patient No. 6 in the province arrived in Llorente town on July 28 and was directly admitted to a quarantine facility. The patient developed a fever on July 29. The symptoms persisted even after three days of treatment, prompting the rural health unit to transfer the patient to ESPH on the night of August 2.


The allegation on the “breach of health protocols” at ESPH prompted the city government to impose a 48-hour border closure. The lockdown, which started at 12:01 a.m. on August 8 and ended at 12:01 a.m. on August 10, aims to facilitate the tracing of contacts of health workers in the city who had exposure to an infected person.


Despite the lifting of hard border lockdown, the mayor asked residents to stay at home due to the risk of catching the deadly virus.


“The Borongan city government would like to advise the public to continue to stay at home as much as possible and avoid non-essential travel to other places. With the rise of Covid-19 positive cases in Eastern Samar, our city remains largely at risk,” Agda added.


He said the local government has to implement the border closure for two days to protect the residents of the city from Covid-19 and prevent the spread of the virus to nearby towns if in case a close contact of the patient will turn out positive of the virus.


With heightened monitoring against Covid-19, Agda asked locally stranded individuals to inform the city disaster risk reduction and management office before heading back to the city for their accommodation in isolation facilities.


As of August 8, Borongan, the capital of Eastern Samar province, has 228 persons in isolation centers after their recent travel to areas with community transmission. About 1,399 have already completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine in the past four months.


Since the pandemic started, only one resident turned positive for Covid-19, a health worker assigned at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in Tacloban City. The patient, who acquired the disease in Tacloban, has recovered weeks ago.


Source : Philippines News Agency

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