11 areas in W. Visayas with clustered COVID-19 cases

Published July 23, 2020, 10:08 AM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY—The Department of Health (DOH) identified 11 areas in Western Visayas region with clustered coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases and an indicator of local transmission.

The Department of Health (DOH) identifies St. Paul’s Hospital in Iloilo City as one of the 11 areas in Western Visayas with clustered COVID-19 cases or cases with local transmission. (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)

Dr. Jessie Glen Alonsabe, chief epidemiologist of DOH-6, said the 11 included three hospitals while the remaining eight clustered cases are within communities.

Alonsabe explained clustered cases mean that a particular area has more than two COVID-19 cases recorded for two consecutive weeks.

The three hospitals with clustered COVID-19 cases were St. Paul’s Hospital in Iloilo City, the DOH-run Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) in Iloilo City, and Riverside Medical Center in Bacolod City. Infected were doctors, nurses and other hospital staff.

In Iloilo province, the towns of Alimodian, Bingawan, and New Lucena had clustered cases mostly due to health workers and other frontline workers who were first infected by returning locally transmitted individuals (LSIs). In turn, some of them infected co-workers or family members.  

There were also clustered COVID-19 cases in Pajo village of Lambunao town, also in Iloilo province.

Four communities in Negros Occidental province had clustered COVID-19 cases including Cabadiangan village of Himamaylan City, Matab-ang village of Talisay City, Bi-ao village of Binalbagan town, and another community in Manapla town.

While the majority of those have recovered in these clustered cases, DOH-6 strongly recommended that partial lockdown can be implemented by local governments once a particular area registers two or more COVID-19 cases to help curb its spread.

Dr. Sophia Pulmones, DOH-6 chief for Local Health Support Division, said the partial lockdown paves the way for the detection, isolation, testing, and treatment.