Two returning locally stranded individuals (LSI) in northern town of Roxas, who were about to complete their mandatory 14-day quarantine, tested positive for COVID-19.

Dr. Leo Salvino, chief of Roxas municipal health office (MHO), in a phone interview Thursday, said that the two fresh cases, a 19-year-old female student and a 23-year-old male, remained asymptomatic and were set to be transferred to Roxas Medicare Hospital for isolation and treatment.

The female student arrived from Metro Manila on July 5 aboard an AirAsia flight. The male patient, who also came from Manila, disembarked at the Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPIA) on July 4 aboard Philippine Airlines.

“They were negative on rapid diagnostic test (RDT) upon arrival. Upon completing their quarantine, they underwent RDT again which later turned out to be positive so we ordered for swab test that confirmed COVID-19 positive result today,” Salvino said in Filipino.

On the same day, the municipality of Roxas also reported one COVID-19 recovery, discharging the patient from the isolation facility.

Salvino also said that the quarantine facilities in this town are starting to be strained as they continue to welcome returning LSI as mandated by the national government.

“We asked the local Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to help in making sure that the barangays comply with providing quarantine facilities,” Salvino said.

Salvino added however that home quarantine is still a viable option if the standards were compliant to the Department of Health (DOH) guidelines, which includes a separate room with own lavatory.

As of Thursday (1 p.m.,July 23), the Palawan province has already recorded 69 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 20 active cases, 48 recoveries, and one death.

Four active cases were reported each for Sofronio Española and Brooke’s Point, and three in Puerto Princesa. Two COVID-19 positive patients each for Roxas, Taytay, and Coron, while one each for Rizal, Busuanga, and Dumaran.

(With a report from Jane Tumalac and Jeshyl Guiroy)