More health workers infected as Region 8 Covid cases hit 400 mark

Confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Eastern Visayas (Region 8) has breached the 400 mark on Tuesday after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 35 new infected persons, including several health workers.


The new cases include 19 health workers of the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in this city, the region’s largest state-run hospital, and employees of the health department regional office said DOH regional director Minerva Molon in a video message on Tuesday.


“We have already isolated infected health workers in a health facility while those who have close contacts with them are quarantined in a hotel. Contact tracing is ongoing to identify other close contacts,” Molon said.


Among the 35 new cases are the nine staff of the DOH regional office and eight nurses deployed in the field, according to Roderick Boyd Cerro, DOH regional surveillance officer.


“My staff were infected not because they were exposed in collecting samples, but were exposed to a Covid-19 positive co-worker. So sad, but we will be back stronger and better,” Cerro said in a phone interview.


Of the 35 new infected persons, 17 are residents of Tacloban City, five from Ormoc City, three from Palo town, two from Dulag, and one each from Carigara and Tanauan towns in Leyte province; three from Basey and one from Catbalogan City in Samar; one from Lavezares, Northern Samar; and one from Borongan City, Eastern Samar.


This is the first Covid-19 case in Borongan, the capital of Eastern Samar province. The patient, a resident of the city, is an employee of the EVRMC in Tacloban.


Mayor Dayan Agda in a radio interview said there’s nothing to worry about since the patient’s last travel history to her home province was on June 6.


In Tacloban, the city government said on its social media post that of the 17 new cases, 10 are personnel of EVRMC, and seven are employees of the DOH regional office in nearby Palo town.


Palo Mayor Anne Petilla confirmed that the three new infected residents are employees of the EVRMC.


“They are in quarantine at the isolation facility of EVRMC. Our health workers keep fighting during this pandemic. Let’s not waste their sacrifices and help them to suppress the spread of Covid-19,” Petilla said in a statement.


The local government of Carigara also disclosed that an EVRMC employee from their town caught the virus.


The town of Tanauan confirmed through a social media post that a DOH employee from their town is the newly infected person.


With 431 confirmed Covid-19 cases, the region records more than tenfold increase in the past three weeks from just 40 cases recorded on June 1.


The health department also confirmed local transmission in some areas as people without travel history outside the region and no exposure to a known infected person caught the virus.


Source: Philippines News Agency


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