DUMAGUETE CITY, Oct. 27 (PIA) -- Twenty-three individuals tested positive for COVID-19 in Negros Oriental.
Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion, health committee chair of the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force-Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID), made the announcement in a press briefing over the weekend.
Guihulngan City had the highest numbers of additional COVID-19 positive patients with 11 cases.
The municipality of Zamboanguita recorded six additional cases while Bayawan City and La Libertad have two cases each.
Estacion also revealed that one person from San Carlos City in Negros Occidental was brought to Silliman University Medical Center (SUMC) for medical treatment.
The individual was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection and is admitted in the hospital's Level III isolation facility.
This was the highest number of additional COVID-19 cases reported in a day.
Estacion explained this was because swab test results coming from the COVID-19 testing laboratories at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) and the Cebu TB Reference Laboratory which came in bulk on Oct. 23, 2020.
"Makaingon ko na this is the highest. Murag gidungan niya ug (paggawas sa result ang tanan sa) Negros Oriental. Before man gyud staggered. But this time, gigulpi man pero kung gi-staggered ni dili ing-ani kadaghan (I would say this is the highest. All of the results came out one time unlike before when results were released in staggered manner)," Estacion explained.
The Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (PESU) sent 948 swab samples to Cebu City for confirmatory tests last week and around a total of 853 results came out on Oct. 23.
From the said figure, 30 are positive with seven repeat swabs revealing positive results and 23 new positive.
On the other hand, 823 of the swab specimens sent to Cebu City were found negative for COVID-19 infection with three recoveries.
The seven repeat swabs with still positive results are NegOr-Cov-196, NegOr-Cov-199, NegOr-Cov-201, NegOr-Cov-209, and NegOr-Cov-210 from Dumaguete City, NegOr-Cov-198 from Zamboanguita, and NegOr-Cov-202 from Bacong.
Meanwhile, those who have recovered include NegOr-Cov-191 (Bacong), NegOr-Cov-203 (Returning Overseas Filipino from Qatar), and NegOr-Cov-204 (Dumaguete City).
Estacion said most of the 23 additional cases had indirect or direct contacts of previously reported COVID-19 patients.
In Guihulngan City, additional COVID-19 patients with codes NegOr-Cov-227, NegOr-Cov-228, and NegOr-Cov-229 are direct contacts of NegOr-Cov-217.
Another previously reported COVID-19 positive patient there: NegOr-Cov-216 had direct contact with NegOr-Cov-237, NegOr-Cov-232, NegOr-Cov-233, NegOr-235, NegOr-Cov-236, and NegOr-Cov-234.
NegOr-Cov-216 also had a direct contact with NegOr-Cov-248 and NegOr-Cov-249 in La Libertad.
On the other hand, NegOr-Cov-230 and NegOr-Cov-231 have undetermined origin of infection and contact tracing for individuals who had personal contact with the said individuals in Guihulngan City has already begun.
In Zamboanguita town, NegOr-Cov-198 had direct contact with NegOr-Cov-238, NegOr-Cov-239, NegOr-Cov-242, and NegOr-Cov-243.
The husband of another COVID-19 patient in Zamboanguita with code NegOr-Cov-241 is a direct contact of NegOr-Cov-198, but the husband's swab test came back negative.
In Bayawan City, NegOr-Cov-245 is the wife of a doctor who had direct contact with the parent of a 15-year old female who tested positive for Covid-19 (NegOr-Cov-207).
The doctor and the parent's swab tests were negative.
Another COVID-19 patient in Bayawan City with code NegOr-Cov-246 is a frontliner with known history of exposure to NegOr-Cov-219.
In Basay town, new patient NegOr-Cov-244, a 71-year old female, was found to have no exposure to a COVID-19 patient.
However, the patient's son is a workmate of NegOr-Cov-220, but the son's swab result was negative.
All of the newly-identified COVID-19 cases in Negros Oriental are contained and placed in the isolation facilities of their respective Local Government Units (LGUs).
Contact tracing for direct contacts of these persons are also ongoing.
Asked on what could be the reason behind the COVID-19 transmissions, Estacion explained that the viral load and resistance of the patient or immune system are the factors that determine the risk of contracting the virus.
Estacion also added that current data on COVID-19 are still not definite as of this time as studies reveal more aspects of this virus.
Meanwhile, the new case at SUMC is a 30-year old female who was already suspected to have COVID-19 infection, but the hospital in San Carlos City refused to admit her in their facility, which was why she was referred to the hospital in Dumaguete City.
In a statement released Oct. 26, SUMC clarified that the patient, based on the referral document, was conveyed in Guihulngan City ambulance.
The hospital also noted that the transfer was carried out without following proper health protocols of the Dumaguete City Tourism and City Health Offices.
However, the patient's admission at SUMC followed health and safety protocols based on principles of isolation, containment, and crowd control. (ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)