Culion is no longer COVID-19 free, after a 19-year-old male locally stranded returnee from Caloocan tested positive for the new coronavirus disease.

Dr. Israel Zantua, the municipal health officer (MHO) in Culion, told Palawan News on Thursday that the patient arrived on July 26 aboard M/V June Aster.

“Asymptomatic siya. Na-isolate na namin siya, nahiwalay na namin siya sa lhat ng LSI namin naka-separate na rin siya sa isolation facility,” Zantua said.

The patient first tested positive on the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) upon his arrival. His swab samples were gathered for confirmatory test in Ospital Ng Palawan GeneXpert laboratory that returned positive result on Thursday (July 30).

Six samples from Culion were sent for the COVID-19 test, five of which have already returned negative.

In Roxas town, a 49-year-old male locally stranded returnee from Masbate also tested positive for the infectious disease.

Dr. Leo Salvino, the municipal health officer (MHO) in Roxas, told Palawan News on Thursday morning that the patient arrived on July 12 ferried by 2Go shipping vessel via Metro Manila.

“May isa tayong positibo, kaninang umaga lamang natin natanggap ang result. Dumating siya ng Palawan noong July 12 via 2Go from Masbate-Manila to Palawan. Dadalhin na ito ngayon sa [Roxas] Medicare Hospital ngayong araw,” Salvino said.

The recent development brings the total Palawan COVID-19 tally to 87, with 31 active cases, 55 recoveries, and one death.

Of the active cases, four are city residents and 27 are from different municipalities in Palawan.

(With reports from Alex Baaco, Ruth Rodriguez, and Jane Tumalac)

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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.