NegOr logs 4 new COVID-19 cases, 6 new recoveries

By Roi Lomotan

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Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estaicion giving an update on the latest number of COVID-19 cases in Negros Oriental during a press briefing held Aug. 10, 2020 at the IATF Media Briefing Area, BOM Office, Dumaguete City.

Negros Oriental has logged four new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection and six new recoveries based on the result of swab tests received by the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) over the weekend.

Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion announced this in a press conference this morning at the IATF Media Briefing Area, BOM Office, Perdices Coliseum.

The first new case reported was a 48-year old male resident of Tayasan town but a Locally Stranded Individual (LSI) from Minglanilla, Cebu.

He arrived on July 29 with mild symptoms of COVID-19 and was placed in an isolation facility identified by the Local Government Unit (LGU).

Swab samples were taken from him on Aug. 4. He is now asymptomatic.

The second case is a two-year-old boy in Siaton town who is another LSI from Pasig City in Metro Manila.

Estacion said the family of the child arrived in the province via the 2Go shipping vessel but their arrival was not coordinated with the LGU.

The mother of the child claimed the child had a mild cough so swab samples were taken from the boy.

Swab samples were also taken from the parents of the child and his only brother but it was the two-year-old who tested positive for the virus.

Estacion said the parents and the sibling will have to undergo another round of swab tests.

Currently, the family is staying at the LGU-designated isolation facility, where Estacion said the child is energetic and is now asymptomatic.

Rural health workers are also providing vitamins to the child for added nourishment.

The third new case reported is a 31-year old male resident of Dauin but an LSI from Batasan Hills, Quezon City who arrived in the province on Aug. 1 via 2Go shipping and is now staying at the LGU-designated isolation facility.

The fourth new case of COVID-19 infection is a 36-year old female resident of Sibulan who is an LSI from Nueva Ecija.

She arrived in the province on Aug. 1 via 2Go vessel and now staying at the LGU-designated isolation facility.

The new cases have been tagged as NegOr-Cov-105, NegOr-COV-106, NegOr-Cov-107, and NegOr-Cov-108, respectively.

A total of 125 results came from Cebu City over the weekend, of which 121 are negative.

Part of the negative results are the six Covid-19 recoveries. They are NegOr-Cov-73 (Sibulan), NegOr-Cov-85 (Sibulan), NegOr-Cov-86 (Sibulan), NegOr-Cov-98 (Sta. Catalina), NegOr-Cov-88 (Canlaon City), NegOr-Cov-101 (Bacong).

On the other hand, five direct contacts of NegOr-Cov-94, who is an 82-year old female resident of Brgy. Cadawinonan, Dumaguete City who died on July 26, have tested negative from the virus.

They are also part of the 121 individuals with negative RT PCR test results.

Estacion earlier confirmed that there is already a local transmission in Dumaguete City after the 52-year old female daughter of NegOr-Cov-94 also tested positive for the virus.

In line with this, Estacion said the City Health Office of Dumaguete is expanding its contact tracing to cover all possible individuals who had contact with the two COVID-19 positive individuals in Dumaguete City.

“Up to this moment, wala pa nihunong ang contact tracing (team) sa Dumaguete City. Tomorrow naa napod sila ipa-swab only to get kinsa gyud ang ‘person of interest’ aning panghitabo karon (The contact tracing team in Dumaguete City has not yet concluded their contact tracing. Tomorrow, another set of individuals will be swabbed. They will continue to do this until they find the ‘person of interest’ who caused this),” Estacion told members of the media.

It was noted that the late 82-year old and her daughter did not have any travel history to areas with COVID-19 infection and health authorities are investigating who could be the carrier of the virus.

In line with the confirmed local transmission in Dumaguete City, Estacion reiterated her appeal to the public to practice health protocols to avoid contracting COVID-19.

Kita tanan safe if mo-follow ta sa health protocols: wearing of masks, physical distancing, manghinaw or mag-alcohol, stay at home especially 20 years old and below ug katong senior citizen kung walay importanteng tuyo (We will all be safe if we follow health protocols which are wearing masks, physical distancing, frequent washing of hands or regular use of alcohol, stay at home if there is no important reason to go outside especially for those who are 20 years old and below and senior citizens),” Estacion stressed.

The assistant provincial health officer explained earlier that the mode of transmission in Dumaguete City is qualified as local transmission since it happened between family members.

It will be called community transmission if the infection has spread out to the community.

NegOr Guv reiterates call for public cooperation vs COVID-19

By Jennifer C. Tilos

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 Gov. Roel Degamo (center) calling on local officials to step up during the crisis and be guided of the regulations under the ehanced community quarantine in a press briefing with Provincial Information Officer Bimbo Miraflor (left) and Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion (right). (PIA Negros Oriental)

Gov. Roel Degamo has called on the public once again to follow all precautionary measures against COVID-19 as the province enters its fifth day of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the province.

In a press briefing at the Provincial Convention Center in Dumaguete City, Degamo said the public’s cooperation is key to flattening the COVID-19 transmission curve.

So far, most residents have followed the stay-at-home order as only person per household is allowed to leave to buy the family’s basic necessities.

Checkpoints have been installed in different strategic locations to inspect motorists for the proper documents and quarantine passes.

Following Degamo’s executive order on the declaration of ECQ, all essential establishments that have been exempted are directed to conduct temperature check prior to allowing customers and patrons inside their premises.

All employees are also required to wear masks, provide alcohol or sanitizers and hand washing stations, and for the workers to immediately go home after their shift.

Although all Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies remain operational, ICT-Dumaguete representative Suzanne Bascara pledged that their group has adopted work-from-home arrangements for their employees.

Bascara added that they have arranged with some hotels in the city to provide accommodations for their employees who have slow internet signal in their homes and also for those who are not allowed to travel home due to the ECQ.

Under the ECQ, those allowed to move around the city are only authorized individuals from exempted food industries and those who have medical reasons to go out as long as they can show proof.

It is also cited in the EO that limiting the movement of persons outside maximizes the opportunity for social distancing or the act of keeping distance from other people to prevent the spread of diseases.

Silliman University lauds donors’ efforts to help studes, community

By Jennifer C. Tilos

Silliman University (SU) acknowledged the help of academic units and donors who partnered with the university in its efforts to ensure the welfare and safety of students and entire community amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Melita Aguilar, director of the SU Office of Information and Publications, the contributions made possible the provision of food and financial assistance to stranded students, logistical support to the frontliners, and support initiatives of various units of the community.

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Silliman University President Dr. Betty McCann (Contributed Photo/PIA7-NegOr)

SU through its Civic Welfare Training Service, Office of Community Engagement and Service-Learning (OCESL), Nutrition and Dietetics (ND) Department, and the SUCC Multipurpose Cooperative Inc., distributed face masks to frontliners in the city.

To produce face masks, the ND department contracted seamstresses who are able to earn income as they themselves are displaced because of the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), Aguilar said.

The first set of face masks were distributed to the frontliners of the university and the community.

The SU Chemistry Department also produced ethyl alcohol sanitizers that were distributed to medical frontliners to help in addressing the shortage of disinfectants in the market.

The sanitizers were made using the formulation recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Nurhielmina Hinaut from the SU Pharmacy Department made the design and protocol on labeling the sanitizers.

“Outstanding Sillimanian Dr. Mariano Lao is one of the early responders to the call for assistance to stranded students on campus. His extra contribution of P30,000 aided the University in providing one-month food support each to four students and P500 outright cash assistance to 21 students. The 25 students, currently in four dormitories, were not able to go back to their hometown due to the lockdown imposed by the local government since March 15, 2020 amidst COVID-19,” said SU President Dr. Betty McCann.

For their part, the Silliman Alumni Association, Inc. (SAAI) Dumaguete Chapter also donated P72,000 to help augment the food needs of 40 SU student dormitory residents stranded in the course of the pandemic.

The amount will cover food for the period April 4 to 12, 2020 as well as pay for experienced outsourced personnel to take care of the food preparation.

McCann said the university received instructions to repurpose the Samuel A. and Aurora Malayang and Family Emergency Loan Fund to Support Working Students towards support for stranded students.

Thus, students who are left behind in Dumaguete can avail of an interest-free emergency loan in the amount of P2,000 payable for one year.

As of April 2, 2020, five students have availed of the loan.

In response to the university’s call for donations for its displaced outsourced personnel, Dr. Lao also sent an additional P30,000.

Aguilar said the amount helped cover the preparation of food packs for the 188 outsourced janitorial, utility, maintenance, and cafeteria crew who could not be at work due to the COVID 19 outbreak.

Community outreach has also been conducted together with the “Silliman University’s Continuing Calamity Response Program (CCRP) thru the Office of Student Services (OSS) and in coordination with SU Church distributing food packs to 150 families of Barangay Looc, Dumaguete City and 30 food packs to 30 displaced security guards assigned in the University including two OSS janitors,” the SU president disclosed.

McCann assured that the university would continue its efforts in helping the stranded students, displaced outsourced workers, frontliners, and the community as she expressed her gratitude to the donors who continue to support the efforts of Silliman University.

In due time, a full list of contributors and donors who support projects and acts of kindness in this period of health crisis will be published.

Negros Oriental has been placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine since Friday, April 3, 2020 and will last until April 18, 2020.