Pateros Mayor Miguel “Ike” Ponce III warned the public of a surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the municipality brought about by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
From zero COVID-19 cases for nearly three weeks in December, Pateros now has 259 active cases as of Jan. 8, including 22 new cases.
Out of the 259 cases, 93 are asymptomatic while the 166 are mild, 243 are under isolation, while 16 are scheduled for isolation.
Ponce said the number may double as the results of those who were tested for COVID-19 last Jan. 5 to 7 have not been released.
“The problem with this is that there are no results yet for those who got tested on January 5, January 6, and January 7. Because there are so many who tested positive in Metro Manila, our laboratories are overwhelmed, particularly the Red Cross laboratory so the results of the swab tests cannot be released immediately,” said Ponce during a live broadcast on Facebook on Jan. 10.
He said if the results of the three days will be included in the tally, the 259 active positive cases may double in number.
The mayor said the virus is spreading fast in offices and homes and reminded the people to take extra care.
While the use of face shields is not mandatory, Ponce urged the public to wear them as additional protection.
In an executive order he issued earlier, Ponce required the mandatory wearing of face shields only inside hospitals, health centers and facilities, and enclosed vaccination and isolation facilities.
“It is up to us if we need added protection, we should use it,” he said.