Batanes records 1st COVID-19 case
Raymund Catindig, Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - September 30, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — No province in the country has been spared from the coronavirus disease 2019. Batanes, which had been COVID-free since March, recorded its first case yesterday.

The Batanes provincial health office said the patient is a locally stranded individual (LSIs) who arrived in Basco on an Air Force plane on Sept. 22.

Roldan Esdicul, provincial disaster risk reduction officer, said the patient is asymptomatic and was brought to a resort, which was converted into an isolation facility.

Esdicul said the provincial government suspended flights carrying LSIs for two weeks starting yesterday to ”manage the situation.”

The provincial government urged residents to continue to observe minimum health standards, such as wearing of face masks and face shields, maintaining physical distancing and observing proper hygiene.

“We urge everyone to avoid spreading fake and unverified information that creates fear and panic. Let us also avoid having prejudices and discrimination toward people under quarantine,” the provincial government said in a post on Facebook.

The Department of Health (DOH) said the case has not yet been reported based on its Sept. 29 data.

”With Batanes recording a confirmed case, all provinces have COVID-19 cases... All provinces have reported at least one case in the past 28 days,” the DOH said.


In Negros Occidental, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson sought a moratorium on the return of LSIs from Oct. 1 to 7 to decongest quarantine facilities.

Lacson wrote the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19, saying local government units are having difficulty in ensuring that returning overseas Filipino workers and LSIs are accommodated in quarantine facilities.

As this developed, the Department of the Interior and Local Government ordered an investigation into alleged violation of quarantine rules when people flocked to the Bacolod City government center on Saturday amid reports on the distribution of cash assistance.

“Nag-aantay tayo ng report. Hindi kasi puwede ‘yung may bigla kang announcement, hindi naman pala totoo,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in an interview over ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.

Bacolod, which will revert to general community quarantine tomorrow, had 3,884 confirmed cases as of Monday.

Gov, vice mayor infected

Meanwhile, in Surigao del Sur, Gov. Alexander Pimentel was confined at the Adela Serra Ty Memorial Hospital on Monday.

In an advisory, the hospital said Pimentel, who was found infected last week, has mild symptoms and is in stable condition.

Surigao City Vice Mayor Ernesto Matugas said he also tested positive for the virus.

Matugas called on those who had interacted with him from Sept. 19 to 25 to coordinate with the city health office for contact tracing.

Meanwhile, 22 personnel of a Philippine Navy ship that docked at a naval station in Barangay Poro, San Fernando City,  La Union tested positive for the virus.

Mayor Alfredo Pablo Ortega said it was the highest recorded in the city in one day.

Ortega said the patients would be transferred to a health facility in Manila. – Sheila Crisostomo, Victor Martin, Gilbert Bayoran, Ben Serrano

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