GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 5 May) – The three coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients here who were earlier found infected with the United Kingdom (UK) variant have already fully recovered, Mayor Ronnel Rivera said.
He said no new infections have been so far detected from among the close contacts of the patients, which were separately confirmed last month by the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center and the Department of Health (DOH).
He was referring to the index or first case reported on April 12 and two infected contacts confirmed on April 20.
Rivera said the local government, through the City Health Office (CHO), worked closely with the DOH in monitoring the “variants of concern.”
“We’ve done the contact tracing for all cases and no further progress was so far recorded,” he said in a virtual briefing on Tuesday night.
But he raised concern on the continuing surge of COVID-19 cases in the city, with the active infections currently at 175.
CHO recorded 23 additional cases as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, along with two related deaths and eight new recoveries.
Since last year, the confirmed infections in the city already reached a total of 2,531, the highest in Region 12 (Soccsksargen), with 94 deaths and 2,262 patients fully recovered.
“This time, the transmissions are more among families, we have clusters arising from housing compounds and households,” Rivera said.
He said it was unlike the first surge last year that infected just one among households and traced to industries and work places.
With the city’s health systems already nearing the critical level due to increasing cases, the local government closed down anew the city’s borders to non-essential travel for one month starting last May 1.
“We’re hoping to slow down and control the community transmissions as we continue to open our economy,” Rivera said.
Lawyer Arnel Zapatos, city administrator, said the city government is continually improving its strategies to effectively contain the spread of COVID-19.
He said the Department of the Interior and Local Government-Region 12 has assigned 10 trained virtual contact tracers to the city to assist the contact tracing and analysis of local data regarding the disease.
“We will submit the results of the data analytics to our experts to establish the necessary actions,” he said. (MindaNews)