New COVID-19 cases up by 40%; 2 cases due to variant of concern

On a week-on-week bases, the number of new coronavirus cases in the province of Catanduanes increased by 40 percent last week based on records of the Provincial Health Office (PHO).
Fifty-two (52) cases were tallied from Aug. 22 to 28, 2021, compared to the 37 in the previous week, and the latest total included two cases possibly involving a variant of concern in the town of Bagamanoc.
The Department of Health (DOH) provincial office recently admitted that there were already Alpha and Beta variant cases in the island province but did not give details.
The five-day streak of new cases began on Aug. 24 when 10 cases were recorded, including a cluster of five cases in Calatagan Tibang, Virac, followed by eight more on Aug. 25 with half of them officials and employees of Sunwest Water & Electricity Co. (SUWECO).
Among the 14 new cases on Aug. 26 were an entire family in Marinawa, Bato, two barangay officials in Sto. Nino, Virac, and an elderly couple who are retired teachers from Pandan.
Seven more new cases turned up the next day, including an engineer of the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO), another SUWECO official and an employee of the Virac municipal government,
Last Sunday, Aug, 29, the DOH announced 13 new cases for Catanduanes, including four health workers of the Viga district hospital, the wife of the FICELCO engineer, and two San Roque, Virac residents.
The PHO Covid-10 Tracker described the case of Patient Bicol No. 24984, a 30-year old woman from Bagatabao, Bagamanoc, as a “variant of concern.”
She is the second such case in Bagatabao, after a nine-year- old female who tested positive on Aug. 27.
Reports said the child, along with a 54-year laborer from the same barangay, is a close contact of a 36-year old woman from a nearby village who had tested positive for the virus last July 14. Six residents of the coastal village have been infected by COVID-19 so far.
The two Bagamanoc variant cases are said to be of the Alpha while another Alpha case has been detected in San Miguel town, in addition to the four Beta variant cases found earlier in Virac.
Of the past week’s cases, 28 came from Virac, eight from Bato, five each from Bagamanoc and Viga, three from Gigmoto, two from Pandan and one from Caramoran.
The number of active cases as of Aug. 28 stood at 90, with 80 of them quarantined, nine admitted at local hospitals, and one death recorded in Viga town.
Forty-five (45) are asymptomatic, 41 have mild symptoms and two have moderate symptoms. Of the total 1,055 cases so far in the province, 929 have recovered while 37 have succumbed to complications.
The lone fatality last week was the Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator (MPDC) of Viga town, Salvador Tarraya, 61, who succumbed to the coronavirus disease at Immaculate Heart of Mary Hospital in Virac.
According to Mayor Emeterio Tarin, the department head became feverish on Aug. 6, a day after receiving the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine along with other municipal officials and employees.
He apparently thought nothing of it until the symptoms became serious enough to warrant hospital treatment on Aug. 15 at the Viga district hospital.
The chief executive said the doctor at VDH, noting the patient’s symptoms, decided to transfer him to IHMH where he was confined until his positive test result came out on Aug. 17.
Another Viga LGU department head was also stricken by the virus and tested positive on Aug. 20 but has recovered already.
Mayor Tarin said that the LGU will reopen its doors to the public beginning Tuesday, Aug. 31, after it temporarily closed last week to control the spread of the virus.

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