Bataan breaches 500-mark in COVID-19 cases

BALANGA, BATAAN — The province of Bataan breached the 500-mark in confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases middle of this week, and surged to 559 on Saturday, August 15.

Of this number, 198 were active cases. The death toll in the province from the dreaded disease was at 15, while there were 346 recoveries.

Contact-tracing conducted by the Provincial Health Office (PHO) revealed that the surge was caused by ongoing local transmission of COVID-19 cases in some municipalities that can be traced to the sudden influx of returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), including seafarers; locally stranded individuals (LSIs), and authorized persons outside of residence (APORs).

While there are currently 264 people awaiting results of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests conducted on them, Bataan proved to be one of the more prolific provinces in the whole country in the matter of expanded testing. Since March, Bataan has already conducted 10,011 PCR tests, with 9,188 resulting in negative findings.

In an effort to combat the emerging COVID-19 challenge being posed by the influx of ROFs, LSIs and APORs to the province, Bataan Governor Albert Garcia and the local Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for COVID-19 announced that in the next few weeks, checkpoints in all entry points of Bataan will implement a QR Code system that will ask all inbound residents or visitors to register online.

Aside from that, Bataan is building a bigger centralized processing facility for OFWs in a three-hectare property within the 1Bataan Command Center compound in the town of Orani.

The mega Bataan COVID 19 Processing Facility is expected to be completed in two months and will be the biggest processing facility to rise in the province.