The Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD6) has identified four barangays, four municipalities, and three health facilities in the region with clustering of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.
In a press conference Wednesday, regional epidemiologist Dr. Jessie Glen Alonsabe said there is clustering if there are “two or more cases in two successive weeks in a particular barangay or municipality”.
Alonsabe said the clustering could be a close contact of case, members of a family, or co-workers.
In his situational report, he identified the clustering of cases in Barangays Pajo in Lambunao, Iloilo and Matab-ang, Talisay City; Bi-ao, Binalbagan; and Cabadiangan, Himamaylan, all in Negros Occidental.
A clustering of cases was also recorded in the towns of Alimodian, Bingawan, and New Lucena in Iloilo; and Manapla in Negros Occidental.
For health facilities, the clustering was at St. Paul’s Hospital Iloilo and Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) in Iloilo City and the Riverside Medical Center in Bacolod City.
“It’s much easier to manage those in clusters because it’s very easy for them to do the lockdown,” he said.
If they belong in one household, then they will just be confined in their household, if co-workers, then the selected workplace can be locked down, he added.
Dr. Sophia Pulmones, the DOH spokesperson, said the inter-agency task force resolution allows local government units to implement localized or partial lockdowns where there are clustering of cases.
She added that once the confirmed cases have completed their 14-day quarantine and remain asymptomatic or symptomatic but have been declared as symptoms free for the past three days, then the patient can already be tagged as recovered.
“The individual will be reintegrated into the community,” she said.
In a follow-up interview, Dr. Mercedes Ballarta, municipal health officer of Lambunao, said all the confirmed Covid-19 cases in Pajo were already tagged as recovered.
She said the cases are all locally stranded individuals (LSIs) from Manila who are residents of the barangay. They were quarantined in their barangay hall, daycare, and health centers.
“There was clustering because they are all from Pajo but it was not community-acquired or community transmitted. They all came from Manila as LSI,” she said. (PNA)