The Department of Health in Western Visayas announced five new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) positive cases in Negros Occidental and one in Bacolod City during the weekend.
Five of those who tested positive were overseas Filipino workers and one was a locally stranded individual (LSI) from Manila.
“The increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the province can be attributed to the recent influx of our repatriated OFWs and LSIs,” Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday.
For the past weeks, Negros Occidental had numerous incoming flights and sea vessel arrivals from Manila, and some from Cebu, he pointed out.
There were also 20 OFWs and 68 LSIs from Negros Occidental who arrived on AirAsia and Philippine Air Force flights, and a 2GOMalasakit Voyage, arranged by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the national Inter-Agency Task Force, yesterday, Lacson said.
Lacson also attributed the increase in the number of positive cases to the fact that Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests are now being done at the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital molecular laboratory in Silay City where the average waiting time for the release of results is only three days.
The five new COVID-19 positive cases in Negros Occidental during the weekend brought the total to 22 in the province, CharinaMagallanes-Tan, Negros Occidental COVID-19 Incident Command Center spokesperson, said.
Patient No. 22 is a 37-year-old female LSI from Cauayan, Negros Occidental, who arrived at the Bredco Port in Bacolod City on a 2GO vessel on June 7. She arrived in Cauayan town on June 9 and was placed in an isolation facility, Tan said.
Her Covid-19 positive results were released yesterday.
Patient No. 21 is a 43-year-old male La Carlota City OFW repatriated from Saudi Arabia who is currently asymptomatic. His first swab test in Manila by the Philippine Coast Guard tested negative.
Patient No. 20 is a 50-year-old male Silay City OFW from Saudi Arabia who arrived in Negros on June 9. He is currently asymptomatic and facility quarantined.
Patient No. 19 is a 50-year-old male Kabankalan City OFW from Saudi Arabia who arrived in Negros Occidental on a sweeper flight on June 10.
His PCR test conducted by the OWWA in Manila was negative for Covid-19, but when tested again on his arrival in Negros Occidental the result on Saturday was positive. He was transferred to the Negros Occidental Healing Center in EB Magalona, Tan said.
Patient No. 18 is a 65-year-old househelper from Pulupandan who arrive from Paranaque on a 2GO Malasakit vessel on June 9. She is currently asymptomatic and facility quarantined.
The lone positive case from Bacolod City on Saturday was a 35-year old female, the DOH said.
Bacolod City has 22 Covid-19 cases, 11 of whom are repatriated OFWs and LSIs.
Ten OFWs and about 200 LSIs also arrived in Bacolod City yesterday, councilors Israel Salanga and Cindy Rojas said.
Salanga said 309 other OFWs were released Thursday, Saturday and yesterday after they tested negative for COVID-19 and completed their quarantine period.
Western Visayas as of yesterday had 146 Covid-19 cases, 100 of whom have recovered, 35 are active, and 11 died, the DOH said.*
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