Batanes reports second case of COVID-19
This undated photo shows Batanes province.
The STAR/Noel Novicio
Batanes reports second case of COVID-19
( - October 1, 2020 - 5:59pm

MANILA, Philippines — Just two days after Batanes reported its first case of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, the province logged a second coronavirus infection on Thursday. 

"The patient is currently asymptomatic...under stable condition and currently under strict isolation at the Sinakan Isolation Unit in Sabtang and [is] being strictly observed and managed," the Provincial Government of Batanes said in a post to its Facebook page Thursday

After managing to stay virus-free for eight months, reporting no cases since the pandemic first struck the country, the northernmost province logged its first infection on Tuesday.

Both the first and second COVID-19 patients in the province are locally stranded individuals (LSIs). According to the provincial government, they arrived last September 22 via Philippine Air Force. 

"Intensive Contact Tracing is now being facilitated by the COVID-19 Task Group - Health Cluster," the statement further read. 

The first case was a 29-year-old returning resident from Sta. Rosa, Laguna. No details have been released on the second patient so far. 

On Wednesday, Batanes Gov. Marilou Cayco implemented enhanced quarantine measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. 

Cayco said the measures, which would be implemented until October 13, have been adopted in lieu of quarantine protocols that need approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease or IATF.

The Batanes COVID-19 task group said the quarantine measures include limiting the movement of residents to accessing essential goods and services and work in offices or industries allowed to operate. In addition to this, only one member per household will be allowed to go out to purchase basic needs.

Commercial flights, excluding emergency or medical evacuations and the transport of swab specimen, are suspended along with mass gatherings. 

Residents are also mandated to wear face masks and observe physical distancing at all times, Cayco said. Those below 21 and above 60 are also required to stay home. 

— Bella Perez-Rubio with reports from Gaea Katreena Cabico and The STAR's Raymond Catindig

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