Leyte under state of calamity due to dengue

By Philippine News Agency

TACLOBAN CITY -- Leyte’s Provincial Board has placed the province under a state of calamity as dengue fever has killed six children and hospitalized 1,747 people since January.

Acting on the request of Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla, the board members approved the declaration of a state of calamity during a special session late Friday.

Vice Governor Carlo P. Loreto noted the urgency of the declaration to allow municipal governments to use a certain percentage of their calamity fund as their quick response to check the rising number of dengue cases.

"The main reason is to save lives and for people to survive from this viral disease," Loreto said.

Board member Raissa Villasin, committee on health chairperson, said deaths have been recorded in Babatngon, Baybay City, Burauen, Mahaplag, and Merida.

"This is alarming since there are dengue victims in every town and cities in Leyte," Villasin said.

The top five areas with recorded cases are the towns of Sta. Fe (217), Baybay City (155), Jaro (126), Palo (123), and Alangalang (118).

Leyte has 40 towns, two independent cities, and one component city.  Dengue cases in Tacloban and Ormoc cities were not included in the report since they are independent from the province.

Loreto expressed hope that with the declaration, the concern on rising cases of dengue will be addressed with more help from the national government and even international organizations.

"We expect good, sound, serious advice, guidance and interventions to address the problem with dengue and to save the lives of the people in Leyte afflicted with dengue and prevent others (from getting) infected," he said.

This is the first time in history that the provincial government declared a state of calamity due to dengue.