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‘85% of COVID-19 cases in Eastern Visayas are locally acquired’ – DOH

TACLOBAN CITY – Unlike before when coronavirus disease (COVID-19) mostly infects locally stranded individuals (LSIs), the Department of Health (DOH-8) has bared that 602 or at least 85% of cases in Eastern Visayas are locally acquired from August 19 to 25.

Dr. Minerva Molon, DOH-8 regional director, said Catbalogan City in Samar has the highest recorded cases with 210, followed by Tacloban City with 119 cases, Villareal, Samar with 71, Palo and Tanauan, Leyte with 21 and 13 cases, respectively.

Eastern Visayas is now on its second wave of COVID-19 cases, with a more infectious strain that can infect up to 10 people at a given time, according to DOH-8.

She also confirmed community transmission in Catbalogan City, which is now under enhanced community quarantine. At least 133 healthcare workers have been infected with COVID-19 from Samar Provincial Hospital. The hospital remains closed for admission, and only accepts emergency cases.

Local transmission due to the degree of widespread and with a high incidence of COVID-19 cases was also reported in Tacloban City, the municipalities of Palo, Tanauan, and Alangalang in Leyte; Villarreal, Basey, Hinabangan, and Pinabacdao in Samar province.

However, the official clarified that local transmission of cases does not mean widespread infection in cities or municipalities but only in certain areas like in 5 villages in Tacloban City.

Meanwhile, Molon said that there are seven additional COVID-19 deaths from Tacloban City, Bontoc, Southern Leyte, Tanauan, Leyte, Lawaan, Eastern Samar, Tarangnan, Samar, and two from Villareal, Samar. “Kung titingnan ang datos, ang mga namatay sa COVID-19 ay may mga comorbidities… Ang mga concerned LGUs ay sumusunod sa mga protocols on handling and burying of remains. Everything is done properly to prevent contamination and transmission of the virus, and of course, to ensure public safety,” she maintained. By Marie Tonette Marticio

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