With the number of coronavirus deaths nearly doubling and new cases for the first week of March matching that for the entire previous month, health authorities last week pinned the blame on breach of quarantine protocols at the local level.
In a media conference, provincial health officials said the recent rise in the number of new cases can be attributed to violations of quarantine protocols as well as extensive contact tracing which unearthed the new cases of infection.
A few days after the previous week saw 18 new cases, two engineers of the municipal government of Pandan passed away due to severe COVID-19 symptoms last March 9 and 10.
Patient Bicol No. 4825, a 50-year old civil engineer died at the Eastern Bicol Medical Center on March 9 after he was brought there with severe breathing difficulty. He had been isolated earlier as he was asymptomatic when he tested positive but later developed the symptom. He was reportedly hypertensive and asthmatic.
The next day, his 54-year old immediate superior, Patient Bicol No. 4749, expired at the Bicol Regional Teaching and Training Hospital (BRTTH) in Albay where he had been confined since he tested positive. His wife and a son also got infected during their stay at the hospital.
Three other employees of Pandan LGU had contracted the virus, prompting Mayor Honesto Tabligan II to lockdown the municipal compound and implement an alternative work arrangement to be able to deliver basic services.
As of Sunday, March 14, 2021, the total confirmed cases for Catanduanes has risen to 216, with 30 active cases.
A total of 181 have recovered from the disease, with 28 still in quarantine and two admitted in hospitals.
Last March 12, two more were added to the list: Patient #4949, a 49-year old female missionary from Virac who arrived from Manila on March 5, had fever that day and was isolated; and, Patient #4950, a 26-year old male frontliner job order employee of Bato LGU who suffered from colds and loss of sense of taste and smell on March 7 and was isolated.
Four days earlier on March 8, two were confirmed to have the virus: Patient # 4925, a 45-year-old female government employee from Bato who was noted to have lumbar pain and low white blood count on March 5 and was isolated; and, Patient #4926, a 27-year-old male healthcare worker from Virac who had cough and colds on March 6 and was isolated.
The record by municipality is as follows:Virac, 121 cases (11 active, 3 deaths); Bato, 19 cases (2 active); Viga, 17 cases (11 active); San Andres, 13 cases; Pandan, 11 cases (4 active, 2 deaths); Baras, 8 cases; Panganiban, 7 cases: San Miguel, 6 cases; Caramoran, 4 cases (1 active); Gigmoto, 4 cases; and, Bagamanoc, 4 cases.