By Marie Tonette Marticio
TACLOBAN City – The Department of Health (DOH) 8 confirmed community transmission in Tarangnan, Samar with six new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases Monday, April 2, bringing the total number of cases in Eastern Visayas to 13.
Regional Director Minerva Molon disclosed that the results came from the 132 swab specimens sent to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) last Friday, wherein 92 samples came from the contact tracing conducted from Patient EV 6.
She added that the new COVID-19 cases would be tagged as Patients EV 8 to EV 13. Their age ranges from 27 to 72.
Patient EV 12 and Patient EV 13 are co workers of the first three patients from Tarangnan Community Hospital, while the rest came from different villages in the municipality.
“All new patients except for Patient EV 11 will be admitted in Tarangnan Community Hospital. Patient EV 11 who is 72 years old will be brought to Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban City because she belongs to the vulnerable group and needs tertiary care,” Molon shared.
The official shared that they have arranged with the Provincial Government of Samar to utilize Tarangnan Community Hospital as an isolation facility of the new confirmed cases in their locality since the category of the patients are mild, asymptomatic, and do not belong to the vulnerable group.
Molon has attributed the increasing number of patients from said town due to the living condition of the patients. Some have ignored the mild symptoms they felt and other patients are living with at least 8 family members where social distancing is a challenge.
With 10 out of 13 cases COVID cases recorded coming from said town, RD Molon has recommended mass testing and lockdown in Tarangnan, Samar. This was heeded by Mayor Arnel Tan who declared a total lockdown immediately after the local health department’s announcement.
“Cases are now coming from different barangays in Tarangnan which means the virus has already spread and can be labeled as community transmission.”
However, the official asked the public to help in preventing the virus from spreading instead of panicking citing the need to practice the “new normal” which is social distancing, frequent and proper handwashing, as well as wearing of face masks when going out.