DOH records 18 new COVID-19 cases in Caraga region

BUTUAN CITY - The regional office of the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) reported late Saturday afternoon 18 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Northeastern Mindanao or Caraga region.

This new data came about after 134 RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) results were received from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) and Northern Mindanao TB Reference Center (NMTBR) sub-national laboratories wherein 115 tested negative, and 19 turned positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Of the 19 positive cases, one is a repeat test of an old case from Santiago, Agusan del Norte while 18 were new cases. 

As to the new cases, 11 were locally stranded individuals (LSIs), one was a returning overseas Filipino (ROF), three were close contacts of previously confirmed cases, two were non-medical frontliners from the cities of Bayugan and Butuan, and one was a resident of Jabonga, Agusan del Norte who had history of travel to Butuan City.  

Based on the data, 11 were female, while seven were male. Nine of the cases were aged between 20 to 40 years old. 

The new confirmed cases were distributed in the following areas: Butuan City (4), Bayugan City (2), Surigao City (1), Tandag City (1), municipalities in Agusan del Norte- Jabonga (1), Nasipit (2), municipality in Surigao del Norte-Taganaan (3), municipalities in Surigao del Sur-Cantilan (1), Carrascal (1), Madrid (1), Tago (1).

Fourteen of the cases were asymptomatic, while four were with mild signs and symptoms. Moreover, all cases have been isolated at identified isolation facilities region wide for strict monitoring and management. 

As of this writing, Caraga region has already tallied 324 confirmed positive cases, with 180 (56 percent) recoveries that have been discharged and released, leaving a total of 143 (44%) active cases. 

“The whole of Caraga region is placed under MGCQ (modified general community quarantine) thru IATF Resolution No. 60 dated July 30, 2020, however, 36 barangays in Butuan City is under MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine), “ DOH 13 Regional Director Dr. Jose R. Llacuna, Jr. said.  

“We will strictly monitor and enforce stringent isolation and quarantine procedures to manage local transmission in Butuan City and to prevent local transmission to occur in other areas,” he said. 

“We call on local government officials, barangay officials and the different local Inter-Agency Task Forces (IATF) to ensure adherence of the public to follow the required 14 days quarantine period for LSIs, ROFs and those who are positive in the rapid tests; And to enforce policies such as individual wearing of mask when outside, social distancing and intensify campaign in the importance of hand hygiene and strengthening immune system,” Llacuna said. 

“In addition, we remind all heads of offices and owners of establishments to improve and sustain compliance with the health standards to prevent spread of transmission in the workplaces,” stressed the region’s health chief.