Delayed swab tests bring COVID-19 cases to 147

From 130 just two weeks ago, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Catanduanes ballooned to 147 last week as the 217 swab specimens pending before the Bicol Regional Diagnostic Reference Laboratory (BRDRL) were finally processed.

In the first time that the island province topped the region in terms of new coronavirus cases on a daily basis, 11 people from three towns were confirmed to have the virus by Jan. 11.

Seven of them are from Virac: one each from barangays Antipolo del Sur, Rawis, Gogon Centro, Bigaa, Cavinitan, Sta, Cruz and San Isidro Village.

Five have symptoms, including a 54-year old female healthcare worker and a 42-year old female, who were both admitted at a health facility. The other two were a 40-year old female who died last Jan. 3 at a local hospital and was buried within 12 hours as per protocol, and a  66-year old male who was isolated.

The asymptomatics were a 29-year old female and a 35-year old male, both of them isolated.

Three are Bato residents: a 42-year old male who was exposed to a confirmed case, was asymptomatic and was isolated; a symptomatic 56-year-old female who was isolated; and a symptomatic 71-year old female who has been admitted at a health facility. They are residents of Binanuahan, Sipi and San Roque.

The 11th case is a 29-year old male from San Miguel who had previously shown symptoms and was isolated.

The very next day, on Jan. 12, four more Catandunganons, all from San Andres, were included in the list of new COVID-19 cases in Bicol.

Three were asymptomatic and were isolated: a 26-year old woman who was exposed to a confirmed case in the town, a 35-year old self-employed female, and a 33-year old female. The fourth, a 53-year old female, was asymptomatic.

Two of them are from Timbaas and the other two are residents of Belmonte and Wagdas.

On Jan. 14, the BRDRL positive test results included those of two employees from the municipal government of Virac.

A 49-year old male, with no history of travel or exposure, reported symptoms of fever, cough, colds, sore throat and loss of sense of smell and taste on Dec. 31, 2020 and was isolated.

The second is a 44-year old female elective official, Vice Mayor Arlynn Arcilla, who later came out in public on Monday and confirmed that she was exposed to a confirmed case. She was asymptomatic and in isolation on Jan. 18, 15 days after she attended to her patient, the 40-year old public school teacher who died at a local hospital. She was swabbed on Jan. 8, with the results released a week later.

However, there are reports that she attended a session of the Sangguniang Bayan and a meeting with Mayor Sinforoso Sarmiento Jr. and several department heads and a few councilors in the past two weeks.

Most of the 17 new cases recorded for Catanduanes during the Jan. 11-14 period are reportedly considered clinically recovered as their swabs were taken more than 10 days before the results were released.

Of the 147 cases as of Jan. 18, 2021, 128 are considered recovered, 14 quarantined and two (2) admitted at local hospitals, with three deaths, the Provincial Health Office stated.

The 16 active cases are in Virac (8), San Andres (4), Bato (3), and San Miguel (1).

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