The Department of Health announced 78 new cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Eastern Visayas on Wednesday night, the highest number of infected recorded in a single day.
The new cases brought the total number of infected persons to 342 in six provinces.
Several of these newly infected cases are returning residents, closed contacts of confirmed Covid-19 patients, and several health workers.
Those who turned positive are part of the 542 swab samples examined by the state-run Eastern Visayas Regional Covid-19 Testing Center and the privately-owned Divine Word Hospital laboratory both in Tacloban City.
Of the 78 new cases, eight of them are from San Miguel, four from Burauen, four from La Paz, three from Alangalang, two from Matag-ob, and one each from Palo, Tabango, Capoocan, Baybay City, Hindang, and Matalom, all in Leyte province; 20 from Basey, three from Calbayog City, and one each from Gandara and Sta. Rita in Samar province.
In Southern Leyte, new infections were recorded in the towns of Libagon (12), Tomas Oppus (8), Bontoc (3). The towns Padre Burgos, Hinunangan, and Maasin City recorded one case each.
Several local government officials in the region have raised concern over rising cases in the region in the past two weeks and that broke their record of being coronavirus-free towns and cities.
In Basey, Samar, a town close to Tacloban, Mayor Luz Chu-Ponferrada has barred anyone from going out of their house on Thursday after it recorded its first 20 cases, including 17 locally stranded individuals and three health workers.
“My appeal to the people is to stay home as we suspend work in the local government, order the temporary closure of all establishments, and suspend the issuance of travel pass and health certificate,” Ponferrada said in a social media post.
The local government has yet to decide whether to extend or not the day-long movement restrictions.
In Maasin City, Mayor Nacional Mercado has called on residents not to panic as they recorded the first case in their city on Wednesday night.
“Our hearts are in deep sorrow with today’s recently issued update from the Department of Health where one locally stranded individual coming from Cebu City has been added to the growing Covid-19 positive cases in the region,” Mercado said in social media post.
DOH regional surveillance officer Roderick Boyd Cerro said Thursday there is sufficient evidence that the infection is present in the region.
“We should now shift from containment to mitigation. We have to understand our limitations. We should focus our meager resources to other interventions rather than invest in testing,” he said in a statement.
As of Thursday, the region has 342 cases with 160 from Leyte, 74 from Samar, 42 from Ormoc City, 33 from Southern Leyte, 21 from Tacloban City, seven from Northern Samar, four from Biliran, one from Eastern Samar.
Source: Philippines News Agency