SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews / 22 June) — Another 31 persons in Caraga region, including eight mine workers, were tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), bringing the total to 87 or more than a tenfold increase since June 1, data from the Department of Health-Caraga (DOH-Caraga) showed.
The DOH-Caraga’s Center for Health Development, reported Monday the dreaded disease has afflicted eight mining workers in Claver town in Surigao del Norte while the remaining 23 came from the different parts of the region.
DOH-Caraga said the new COVID-19 cases were confirmed through the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR testing.
At least 22 of the new COVID-19 cases were locally-stranded individuals (LSIs) and one was a returning overseas Filipino.
On June 1, Caraga’s confirmed COVID-19 cases stood only at eight.
Dr. Jose R. Llacuna Jr., DOH-Caraga director, stressed that there is no new local transmission recorded among the recent COVID-19 laboratory results from the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.
In area distribution, three new cases are from Butuan City, one from Cabadbaran City, one from Buenavista town in Agusan del Norte, four from Surigao City, three from Alegria town in Surigao del Norte, two from Placer town in Surigao del Norte, the eight mining workers from Claver town, two from Malimono in Surigao del Norte, two from Socorro in Surigao del Norte, two from Cantilan town in Surigao del Sur, one from Tandag City in Surigao del Sur, and two from Bislig City in Surigao del Sur.
Of the 31 new cases, 27 of them are asymptomatic and have been isolated in the isolation facilities of their respective local government units while four are experiencing mild symptoms and have been admitted in the treatment facilities across the region.
Twenty of the new cases are males while 11 are females with ages ranging from 21 to 30 years old.
The rising cases have prompted the local government units in the region to implement stringent measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
In Butuan City, an ordinance was passed requiring arriving passengers to undergo rapid anti-body testing for a fee of P500. Students, senior citizens. solo parents, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and government workers are given a 20-percent discount.
For its part, the Agusan del Sur COVID-19 Task Force has required starting Tuesday, June 23, all government workers, including national government agencies coming from Butuan City, to undergo rapid anti-body testing in the wake of reports on the three locally-transmitted cases there.
“We hope that this new regulation can be understood since locally transmitted COVID-19 is no joke,” Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago Cane, Jr. said.
Mayor Phoebe Corvera of San Luis town in Agusan del Sur has even issued a stricter rule of prohibiting local residents to go to Butuan, saying the Municipal Health Office and the local police station will no longer release medical certification and travel authority except for emergency cases.
Corvera said that anyone coming from Butuan City is considered as a COVID suspect and will be subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.