By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY – More than half of the positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Western Visayas region are asymptomatic, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
Dr. Jessie Glen Alonsabe, regional chief epidemiologist, said that 57 percent of the more than 90 individuals, who were infected with COVID-19 in Western Visayas. did not show any symptoms.
The asymptomatic cases included 23 repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who traveled from Metro Manila and other places where there were already COVID-19 cases.
The other half of asymptomatic cases was considered as close contacts of those who previously tested positive for COVID-19.
“We can only detect them when we conduct contact tracing,” Alonsabe told The Manila Bulletin in an online press conference.
Alonsabe clarified DOH cannot ascertain if there were other asymptomatic cases in the region, which is comprised of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental provinces, as well as the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod.
“We cannot really say. We do not have mass testing yet,” Alonsabe added.
DOH also found that 16 percent of COVID-19 cases in Western Visayas were influenza-like illnesses (ILI), while 27 percent were severe acute respiratory illness (SARI).
Dr. May Ann Soliva-Sta. Lucia, regional chief of DOH’s Health Promotion Unit, added the ILI- and SARI-type of diagnostic reporting is replicated from the system of DOH Central Visayas office.
Meanwhile, DOH also found that 48 percent of COVID-19 cases in Western Visayas belong to the age brackets of 41-50 and 20-30.