COVID-19 deaths here rise to 40

Three more COVID-19 patients succumbed to complications brought about by coronavirus disease, bringing the island’s total death toll to 39 as of Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021.
The capital town of Virac accounts for 20 of the fatalities, followed by San Andres, Caramoran, Panganiban and Baras with three (3) each. Pandan, Bagamanoc, and Viga have two (2) each while San Miguel and Bato have one (1) each. Only the town of Gigmoto has remained unscathed.
Patient Bicol No. 24468, a 50-year old resident of Binanuahan, Bato, died last Aug. 28 while being treated at the Eastern Bicol Medical Center where he was admitted after testing positive a day earlier.
He had been swabbed two days earlier after suffering from fever, cough and headache. At the time, the Provincial Health Office’s COVID-19 Tracker said that he had no history of travel, with contact tracers still to determine his history of exposure.
Last Sept. 1, according to reports, three members of his own family also tested positive: a 47-year old woman, a 24-year old man, and another 22-year old male.
On Sept. 3, two more family members were found to have the disease: a 17-year old boy and an 18-year old girl.
The other fatality recorded during the past week was Patient Bicol No. 24143, a 38-year old project development assistant at the Catanduanes State University and resident of Calatagan Tibang, Virac.
Swabbed on Aug, 24, Jesse Valeza tested positive two days later along with four employees of Sunwest Water & Electricity Co. (SUWECO), where he had worked after a stint abroad. He was married with two young children.
After the SUWECO job, he had transferred to CatSU on Contract-of-Service (CoS) basis and joined Pres. Patrick Alain Azanza and other officials in inspecting on-going infrastructure projects at the university.
The third fatality was Patient #25528, a 34-year old electrical engineer who was the supervisor of the Systems Loss Reduction Division at the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO).
The resident of Calatagan Tibang was among the three FICELCO employees who had tested positive along with 13 SUWECO officials and workers ss of Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021.
The infection at the power firms apparently began on or before Aug. 18 when a mechanic at SUWECO’s Solong suffered symptoms.
At the time, an insider told the Tribune, the 55-year old man met with his supervisors to discuss his request for a salary upgrade, considering that he regularly traveled to and from Cavite province where his family resides.
On Aug. 22, two skilled workers at the same power plant also tested positive, followed the next day by one more employee, a resident of Calatagan Tibang who returned the same results along with four other residents.
On Aug. 24, the positive swab test results included a ranking official of the company and three other employees, followed by one more employee the next day.
A source claimed that on or about Aug. 24, the company officials and some of his staff met with his FICELCO counterparts, including GM Raul Zafe and the SLRD supervisor at the BAPA Pavilion at the cooperative headquarters in Marinawa, Bato.
On Aug. 28, one of the FICELCO engineers who was at the meeting tested positive along with another SUWECO employee.
The next day, Aug. 29, the FICELCO engineer’s wife tested positive for the coronavirus.
On Sept. 2, a SUWECO employee at its Hitoma hydropower plant, another worker at its Solong plant, and two more cooperative employees, including the SLRD head, were found have the virus.
It is not certain whether eight cases recorded in Calatagan Tibang in Virac, Marinawa in Bato, and Solond in San Miguel are linked to the SUWECO cases.
Meanwhile, in the coastal village of Bagatabao in Bagamanoc, the number of COVID-19 cases in the past 10 days have risen to 10, including two cases described by health officials as a variant of concern.
One of the new cases in Bagamanoc last Saturday, Sept. 4, was allegedly a close contact of the Alpha case, also a resident of Bagatabao, detected by genome sequencing, as described by the COVID Tracker on its Aug. 28 release.
A day earlier, another patient from the village was tagged as a variant of concern

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