Covid-Hit Samar Town Now Virus-Free


Tarangnan town in Samar, the region’s most affected community by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) health crisis, is now free of the virus after no local cases were recorded in the last 28 days, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Monday.

Since the pandemic, the town reported a total of 35 cases – 34 recoveries and one death, that of an 80-year-old woman who caught the virus on June 16 and died on June 24. The patient also suffered multi-factorial shock from community-acquired pneumonia and acute kidney failure.

“There is no more community transmission in Tarangnan. At first, we are confused about how to address the problem but as weeks go on, we were able to handle the matter properly through the whole-of-nation approach,” DOH Eastern Visayas director Minerva Molon said in a video message.

The town reported its first case on April 7, when two health workers in its 10-bed community hospital tested positive for the virus. Both were close contacts of a doctor from nearby Calbayog City.

The local government unit has imposed three lockdowns in several communities since the virus hit the town.

On April 27, the DOH declared a community transmission in Tarangnan, prompting the local government to impose a total lockdown of Poblacion A, B, C, D, E, Imelda, and Palencia.

“Since no vaccine had been developed yet for Covid-19, quarantine and isolation is still the best solution to prevent the transmission of infection from one person to another,” said Roderick Boyd Cerro, DOH Eastern Visayas regional epidemiology and surveillance unit chief.

The DOH said during the visit of the World Health Organization representative to Tarangnan, they noted the interventions made which can be adopted if a similar situation happens in other areas.

Out of its 35 residents who tested positive for coronavirus, 31 were local cases due to community transmission and four were locally stranded individuals.

Mayor Arnel Tan said its last two patients, both LSIs, have been transferred to their recovery facility.

“But we should not be complacent instead, we should continue observing health protocols and discipline for us to survive this pandemic,” he said.

He said although patients in their isolation facilities have already recovered, there is still a possibility to record new cases due to the arrival of more LSIs and returning overseas Filipino workers. (PNA)