BY CARLA P. GOMEZ
There are 19 new COVID-19 positive patients in Western Visayas, 11 of whom are from Negros Occidental, and two from Bacolod City, the Department of Health reported yesterday.
This brought the COVID-19 positive cases in Negros Occidental to 206 and 64 in Bacolod City.
The new COVID-19 positive cases in Bacolod City are a 24-year-old female medical technician frontliner, and a 22-year-old male from Himamaylan City but staying in Bacolod City, who is a close contact of a positive case, Dr. Marie Jocelyn Te, DOH 6 spokesperson for the week, said.
A 20-year-old female from Sipalay City, who tested positive, was exposed to a confirmed case, she added.
But Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said the three Sipalay COVID-19 cases yesterday were all locally stranded individuals (LSIs), who returned from Manila, Palawan and Laguna.
The DOH said the 10 other COVID-19 positive cases in Negros Occidental are LSIs, of which two each are from Sipalay City and San Carlos City, and one each from Kabankalan City, San Enrique, La Castellana, Escalante City, EB Magalona, and Victorias City. Meanwhile, the DOH reported that eight COVID-19 patients, two of whom are from Moises Padilla, and one each from Kabankalan City, Hinigaran, Escalante City, Bago City, Himamaylan City and Sagay City have recovered.
Diaz yesterday said Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson has issued an order for doctors working at provincial government hospitals to refrain from moonlighting to prevent contamination of hospital staff and patients.
The governor is calling on provincial government doctors to exercise prudence, Diaz said.
He pointed out that the Talisay nurse working at a Bacolod private hospital, who tested positive for COVID-19, has spread the virus to his wife and five of his biker friends.
It appears that the bikers and the nurse did not wear masks and practice social distancing, made a lot of bike stops and went swimming “that is why we have a problem…this group was a spreader,” he said.
The nurse, his wife and their child, are confined at a Bacolod hospital, while the bikers are at the EB Magalona Healing Center.
He said one of the bikers is the brother of an employee at the provincial Budget Office and is the cousin of a Management Information Systems IT worker at the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City.
The budget office employee and three IT workers were isolated and their offices were disinfected, Diaz said.
The IT workers luckily tested negative yesterday morning, he said.
The test result of the budget employee was still being awaited, he added.
NO MORE BACKLOGS
Diaz said the backlog in COVID-19 test results at the TLJPH laboratory has been addressed with the arrival for their supplies.
The negative pressure machine and air-conditioning at the laboratory have also been fixed so we are back on track, he said.
A lot of people have been released from quarantine facilities in the province with the release of their test results, he added.
The provincial government has also purchased an automatic extraction machine to speed up the COVID-19 tests at the TLJPH laboratory that arrived yesterday, he said.*