LEYTE, Philippines – At least 3 coronavirus deaths were reported on Thursday, June 25.
The 3 patients came from the provinces of Leyte, Biliran, and Samar.
Patient EV-255 and Patient EV-382 were all returning residents who recently came home to the towns of Kawayan, Biliran and Kananga, Leyte, respectively.
The third mortality, Patient EV-238 from Tarangnan, Samar is the first recorded local transmission COVID-19 death in Samar.
According to Department of Health Eastern Visayas (DOH EV) Regional Director Dr Minerva Molon, these patients had underlying conditions.
“Our three (3) mortalities have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and cardiac diseases making them extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. The concerned LGUs of the COVID-19 fatalities followed meticulously the protocols on handling human remains to prevent contamination and transmission of the virus.”
Molon also emphasized the observation of proper health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the region, and protect the more vulnerable sectors from the virus.
There are currently 467 recorded cases in the region, the majority of these cases coming from Leyte Province with 305, according to Molon.
Several areas in the Eastern Visayas including Samar, Leyte, Ormoc, and Tacloban City were named as “hot spots” by the Department of Health earlier this week due to the fast-rising number of cases in the region.
These provinces enjoyed low infection rates until the national government began its Balik Probinsya, Hatid Probinsya Program and repatriation programs for overseas Filipino workers. (READ: Bong Go’s Balik Probinsya trips suspended)
In a June 20 advisory, the DOH EV issued a memo warning that the health system in the Eastern Visayas could be overwhelmed before the end of the month if the increase in infections is unabated.
“Our health systems might be overwhelmed given that patients will either be in hospital or a quarantine facility for 14 days which will also deplete our resources, especially our human resources,” Molon said in a statement. (READ: Disorganized repatriation program puts E. Visayas rural healthcare at risk)
As of Wednesday, June 24, there were 32,295 confirmed coronavirus cases in the Philippines, including 8,656 recoveries and 1,204 deaths. – with a report from Ryan Macasero/Rappler.com