BY CARLA P. GOMEZ
There are 18 new coronavirus disease confirmed patients in Negros Occidental, one of whom is the doctor wife of a COVID-19 positive nurse from Talisay City.
The 17 others are locally stranded individuals (LSIs) who recently returned to Negros Occidental, bringing the total number of COVID-19 positive cases in the province to 167, the Department of Health reported yesterday.
Of the 17 COVID-19 LSIs, San Carlos City has 6, La Castellana – 4, Himamaylan City – 3, Binalbagan – 1, Cadiz City – 1, Calatrava – 1, Kabankalan City – 1, and Salvador Benedicto – 1, the DOH reported.
However, a Provincial Health Office report last night said the 55-year-old female from Cadiz City is not an LSI, she is the mother of an authorized person outside residence (APOR), who tested positive for the virus on his return to the province.
It is not considered a local transmission since the Cadiz resident was infected by a person who returned to the province, Charina Magallanes-Tan, Negros Occidental COVID-19 Incident Command Center spokesperson, said.
Meanwhile, the 33-year-old doctor from Kabankalan City, who is COVID-positive, is the wife of a 34-year-old nurse who was infected with the virus while assisting an LSI undergoing dialysis at a private hospital in Bacolod City, Kabankalan Mayor Pedro Zayco said.
The couple and their 2-year-old child are now confined at that private hospital.
Zayco said massive contact tracing was underway in Kabankalan City where the doctor practiced in several hospitals.
The doctor’s parents, siblings and househelp in Kabankalan City will also be swabbed for Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests, the mayor said.
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said co-workers of the nurse are also being tested for COVID-19.
Talisay Mayor Neil Lizares on Thursday said 16 biker friends of the nurse and another doctor have also been quarantined.
The return of LSIs to the province that was suspended for two weeks will resume Monday, Diaz said.
There will be one flight a day next week, and a ship on Wednesday, he said.
Returning LSIs will be quarantined at the Yolanda housing village in Silay City, that has a capacity for 200 but can be expanded to accommodate 500, he said.*