Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Thursday that though there was a spike in the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in Eastern Visayas, no deaths related to the virus were recorded, particularly in Leyte.
“Totoo na nag-surge talaga ang positive cases sa kabuuan ng Region VIII pero pinakamarami sa Leyte. Ngayon ay mayroon na silang 392 active cases, total of 431 cases… Pati mga health workers, nasa 80 ang infected,” Año said in an interview on Unang Balita.
(It is true that positive cases have surged across Region VIII but most in Leyte. They now have 392 active cases, a total of 431 cases. As well as health workers, 80 are infected.)
“Ang maganda naman sa Region VIII, particularly sa Leyte, ay zero deaths, walang namatay dito at napakakaunti lang ‘yung nasa critical cases. Maganda’ yung pagkaka-manage ng government officials at health centers,” he added.
(The good thing in Region VIII, particularly in Leyte, is zero deaths, no deaths here and very few in critical cases. It is well managed by government officials and health centers.)
Año added that the local government officials in the region are requesting the temporary suspension of the “Hatid Probinsya Program” because their isolation facilities are already full.
The program which transports locally stranded individuals (LSIs) back to their provinces reportedly contributed to the spike of COVID-19 cases in Eastern Visayas.
“Ang request ng local government dito ay mag-suspend muna ng LSI ng 14 days habang pinapatapos nila ‘yung quarantine sa mga una dahil sa ngayon puno ang kanilang quarantine. Kung darating ang mga LSI, wala silang paglalagyan,” Año said.
(The local government’s request here is to suspend the LSI for 14 days as they end the quarantine for the first batch, and their quarantine facilities are now full. If LSIs come, they have nowhere to place them.)
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization stated in its report that the increase of COVID-19 cases among repatriated OFWs and stranded individuals is due to the government’s “poor adherence” to quarantine protocols.
“Many new cases reported among repatriated [OFWs] and Locally Stranded Individuals (LSI) [was] due to poor adherence to proper prevention measures during the mandatory quarantine period,” WHO said.