Contrary to unfounded belief, super typhoon Rolly did not blow away the coronavirus in Catanduanes, with health authorities recording two (2) new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province.
Patient Bicol # 3016 is a 55-year old male, reportedly a retired police officer from Virac, who was noted to have on-and-off fever, cough, colds and loss of sense of smell on Nov. 9, 2020, and was immediately isolated.
Bicol #3017 is a one-year-old infant girl also from Virac, who was noted to have fever, cough, colds and difficulty of breathing on Nov. 10, 2020 and was admitted in a hospital facility.
Both confirmed cases have no history of travel and their exposure to a confirmed case has yet to be established by the Provincial Health Office and the Virac Rural Health Unit.
According to reliable sources, since typhoon Quinta, super typhoon Rolly and typhoon Ulysses hit or brushed by the island provinces, only three sets of swab specimens have been sent for analysis to the Bicol Regional Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory (BRDRL).
One of these belonged to several local residents, mostly working at the provincial capitol, who were exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case who visited the island in the first week of November.
The commander of the Philippine Army’s 9th Infantry Division, Major General Henry Robinson, allegedly tested positive for COVID-19 when he returned to the division’s camp at Pili, Camarines Sur after visiting the island.
Contact tracers reportedly visited Gov. Joseph Cua, several capitol officials and staff who were in contact with the general but all of them later tested negative of the virus through rapid tests and RT-PCR tests.
With the past typhoons forcing COVID-19 cases and their caretakers to huddle together at isolation facilities, health officials had expected an uptick in the number of new cases on the island.
The two new COVID-19 cases are the only active ones on the island, where 108 others have recovered from the disease and two have died.
The 112 cases are broken down by municipality as follows: Virac, 69 (with 2 active cases and 2 deaths); Baras, 8; Bato, 7; Panganiban, 6; Bagamanoc, Gigmoto and San Miguel, 4 each; Pandan and San Andres, 3 each; and, Caramoran and Viga, 2 each.
Of the total number, 46 are male and 66 are female.
Department of Health data as of Nov. 19, 2020 indicates Catanduanes leads in the number of recoveries at 93.75%, above the second-ranked Legazpi City with 88.22%.
The latest three recoveries raises this percentage to 96.43%.