Masbate town confirms first coronavirus cases

Mandaon town in Masbate on Thursday, July 9, confirmed its first coronavirus cases – a 4-year-old boy and a 29-year-old woman who traveled from Subic, Zambales.

The Department of Health Center for Health Development (DOH CHD) in Bicol said the two arrived from Zambales on June 27. Both are asymptomatic and quarantined in an isolation facility in their town.

The two are among the 10 new confirmed cases in Bicol on Thursday, bringing to 208 the total number of cases in the region. Of this number, 117 are active cases.

The new cases include a two-year-old from Virac, Catanduanes, who arrived from Rizal on June 29, and is a close contact of an earlier confirmed COVID-19 patient. 

The rest – 7 – are from Naga City. Health officials are verifying their history of exposure or travel.

All of them are quarantined in their respective local government facilities.

Health officials have attributed the rising coronavirus cases in Bicol to returning residents and close contacts of COVID-19 cases.

On Wednesday, July 8, the Regional Peace in Order Council (RPOC)  passed a resolution imposing tighter border control in the region to curb the spread of the new virus. This was a day after the region recorded 24 new cases – the highest in a single day – all of them returning residents.

In implementing the stricter border control,  police flagged down at least 9 vehicles with locally stranded individuals (LSIs) at a checkpoint in the Quezon-Bicol boundary in Del Gallego town, Camarines Sur, on Thursday.

Glenn Mancera, Land Transportation Office (LTO) Bicol acting operation division chief,  said that the private vehicles – 7 vans and two sports utility vehicles – were “colorum” and were impounded at the LTO impounding area in Camarines Sur.

From July 3 to 7, the Camarines Sur Incident Management Team recorded the entry of some 200 LSIs on board colorum and private vehicles.

Of this number, 36 tested positive in rapid diagnostic tests.

As of Thursday, Camarines Sur has a total of 83 COVID-19 cases – the highest in the region. Albay has 82, Masbate has 18, Sorsogon has 11,  Catanduanes has 8, while Camarines Norte has 6. – Rappler.com