DUMAGUETE CITY – The number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the island province of Siquijor increased to an “alarming level” over the past few days, prompting authorities to contain the surge.
In a telephone interview with the Philippine News Agency on Tuesday, Covid-19 Task Force spokesperson Brylle Deeiah Tumarong, the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation chair and ex-officio Board Member, said the active Covid-19 infections in the provinces have reached 108.
Of the number, 59 have been tested positive for the coronavirus via the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, while 49 were found reactive through rapid antigen testing, she said.
Those found positive via the antigen tests are now considered as Covid-19 infected, she added.
“Based on our history, if one is positive of the antigen test, that person has a high probability of testing positive for Covid-19 through the RT-PCR and so we already treat them as being infected even though we are still awaiting the results of the swab tests,” Tumarong said.
Also, six deaths related to Covid-19 have been recorded on the island.
Tumarong said the epicenter of the cases is the town of Larena, although other towns have also reported infections.
The “sudden” spike in Covid-19 cases in Siquijor started early this month, attributed to community transmission, she noted.
For several months since the start of the pandemic, the island province reported zero cases of Covid-19, and there were only a few recorded afterward.
Tumarong said Siquijor does not have a Delta variant case.
Regardless of the type of Covid-19 afflicting Siquijor residents, authorities are now looking at ways to control the spread, such as stricter border controls and granular lockdowns.
Siquijor Gov. Zaldy Villa, during an emergency meeting on Monday, issued an executive order outlining stricter health and safety protocols to contain further transmission of the coronavirus. (PNA)