7 Negros Army frontliners from Cebu test positive for COVID-19

BACOLOD CITY - Seven soldiers, who returned to Negros Oriental after serving in Cebu two weeks ago, tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This was confirmed on Saturday by Maj. Cenon Pancito III, spokesperson of the Army’s Third Infantry Division(ID).

Pancito said the seven soldiers were among the 40 troops of the 32nd Division Reconnaissance Company (DRC), under the 302nd Infantry Brigade (IBde), who were earlier sent to Cebu to augment other government forces in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pancito said that the augmentation troops were assigned at the quarantine control points there, making them more exposed to the public, and possibly those infected with the coronavirus.

Pancito said the troops arrived in the province on June 23 on board a Navy vessel, and were immediately brought to a quarantine facility.

He added that the soldiers did not interact with other people when they arrived in the province. However, seven of them manifested symptoms a few days later while in quarantine.

He said that swab tests were done on the seven symptomatic soldiers, and the results came out on Friday, indicating that they were positive for the virus.

He said that the 33 other soldiers, who were believed to be asymptomatic, also underwent swab tests and they were still waiting for the result. 

The Provincial Health Office was tasked to monitor them, he added.

He said that those who were with the soldiers on the vessel were already informed that they could have been exposed to the virus, and will also be subjected to a swab test.

He said the troops were ordered back to the province due to the need for additional forces of the 302nd IBde in their anti-insurgency efforts.