TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday reiterated its call to the public to heighten vigilance against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) as the Eastern Visayas region continues to record new deaths and rising cases.
DOH Regional Director Exuperia Sabalberino confirmed 12 new deaths after days of validation. These patients died due to Covid-19 complications between January 4 to 12.
The new deaths, of which nine are senior citizens, were reported in the towns of Carigara, Palo, Mahaplag, and Baybay City, all in Leyte; Borongan City and the towns of Lawaan and Guiuan in Eastern Samar; Pinabacdao, Tarangnan, and Sta. Rita in Samar; Naval in Biliran; and in this regional capital.
To date, the region has recorded a total of 12,475 Covid-19 cases since last March, including 11,401 recoveries and 153 deaths, with 921 active cases.
“We again reminded all residents to avoid large crowds or mass gatherings, maintain a safe physical distance of at least one meter from each other, and avoid activities that would last longer than 15 minutes as it is prohibited until now,” Sabalberino said in a statement.
She also urged the public to avoid venues not properly ventilated and transmission-causing behaviors such as singing, shouting, heavy breathing, or any physical contact.
On Wednesday, the DOH regional epidemiology and surveillance unit (RESU) disclosed that recent cases reported in the region were acquired in family gatherings and other social events during the holiday celebrations.
“Based on the investigation of our contact tracing team, some cases involved members of the same household. We also observed that many people gathered in shopping malls and other public places,” said Marc Steven Capungcol, RESU head, in a virtual presser.
He added that the region also has three active testing laboratories that contribute to the rising cases in the region “as more people are getting tested”.
These laboratories are the Eastern Visayas Regional Covid-19 Center and Divine Word Hospital Virology Laboratory, both in this city, and the Ormoc Molecular Diagnostic Center. (PNA)