LEYTE, Philippines – Eastern Visayas on Wednesday, June 17, recorded 69 new coronavirus cases – the biggest spike in cases recorded in the region in a single day.
With the surge in cases, Eastern Visayas now has 333 confirmed coronavirus cases.
A majority of the new cases are in Southern Leyte, which confirmed 26 new cases. The towns of Tomas Oppus and Hinungan, and Maasin City recorded their first cases.
Samar has 25 new cases, while Leyte has 18 more COVID-19 patients.
Earlier this week, 18 health workers from the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) and 4 from the Leyte Provincial Hospital tested positive for the coronavirus.
EVRMC chief Dr Salvador Evardone said that there were lapses in the decision making of the staff in assessing incoming patients, leading to the infection of the emergency department.
In a mix of Waray and English, Evardone said that there was a “breach of protocols,” explaining that patients who had cough and colds should be referred to the COVID Centre (EVRMC Magsaysay), and should not have been allowed to enter the emergency room of EVRMC Main-Cabalawan without first being screened outside the hospital.
Evardone said the situation had been contained and assured the public that affected workers had been isolated.
The new cases are spread among the following towns and provinces:
- San Miguel – 6
- Burauen – 4
- Alang-Alang – 3
- Matag-ob – 2
- Baybay City – 1
- Hindang – 1
- Matalom – 1
- Basey – 20
- Calbayog City – 3
- Gandara – 1
- Sta Rita -1
- Libagon- 12
- Tomas Oppus – 8
Prior to the arrival of residents through the recently-canceled Balik Probinsya program and the Hatid Probinsya program, Leyte only had two coronavirus cases on April 24. Both of the cases were from Burauen town.
Leyte had no new cases for over a month until two tested positive for the virus on May 28, part of the the first batches of returning residents who arrived in the province.
The Philippines has a total of 27,238 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Wednesday, June 17, with 457 new cases reported. – Rappler.com
Eiver Villegas is a student journalist from the University of San Jose Recoletos in Cebu City. He is currently in his home province, Leyte.