In just five consecutive days, Puerto Princesa recorded a total of six deaths beginning May 1, prompting city officials to plead for compliance amidst the ongoing surge of COVID-19 in the city.
The latest COVID-19 fatality for the city is a 76-year-old female resident of Barangay Bancao-Bancao. She passed away on Wednesday, May 5, at the MMG-PPC Cooperative Hospital.
According to city Incident Management Team (IMT) chief Dr. Dean Palanca, Puerto Princesa has a total of 20 COVID deaths in the official tally as of May 5. He explained that one death occurred in 2020, 1 in February, then 12 were recorded for April, the highest count in a month so far.
“Sa nakikita kong mga deaths, nasa 70s, 80s, may nakita pa ako 90s. Walang laban sa COVID-19 ang mga matatanda. Kung puwede, ang mga may magulang na matatanda na, huwag munang hayaang lumabas talaga kahit naka-face mask o face shield pa,” said Palanca in a live briefing on Wednesday.
Palanca further pleaded to the public, especially those who still report to their respective workplaces, to strictly adhere to the new workplace regulations passed by the city as preventive measures. These measures include providing adequate ventilation, alternating reporting schedules, and banning communal eating in the workplace, by virtue of city Executive Order No. 2021-25.
Despite rising COVID-19 cases, rising number of COVID deaths, and overwhelmed workforce, the city government has opted not to apply for a higher quarantine classification than the current one, which is General Community Quarantine (GCQ). Palanca announced that they have also increased their quarantine facilities from 4 buildings to 8, which is why the initial plan to send home some asymptomatic suspect and probable cases was recently junked by the city Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).