Four new COVID-19 cases were reported in Palawan on Thursday, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 26.

Six of the currently active cases are in Puerto Princesa City where most of the cases have occurred since the trend increase began, seven in Cuyo, four in Brooke’s Point, and two each in the towns of Taytay, Coron, and Roxas. Rizal and Busuanga remain to have 1 active case each.

The latest cases were reported in Brooke’s Point, Busuanga, and Puerto Princesa City.

The current 26 active cases in the province was hardly a change from the 27 cases at the beginning of the month, with nearly all cases coming from locally stranded individuals (LSI).

Jonathan Dabuit, Busuanga municipal information officer (MIO), told Palawan News Thursday afternoon that one locally stranded returnee tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the new coronavirus infection.

The patient is a 25-year-old male returnee from Metro Manila who arrived on June 22 aboard a vessel operated by the 2Go Shipping Lines. He was nonreactive to the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) upon his arrival and was about to be discharged upon completing his mandatory 14-day quarantine period in one of the town’s facilities.

However, he tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies prior to his quarantine graduation, which resulted in his endorsement for the confirmatory test that yielded positive results on Thursday (July 16).

“Remaining asymptomatic throughout quarantine period underwent repeat RDT on day 21, July 13, which then yielded a positive result. The patient underwent swab testing that same day. After 2 days, July 16, still asymptomatic, we received positive swab test results via email,” Dabuit said.

Dr. Dean Palanca, city incident commander, in an announcement aired live on Facebook Thursday afternoon, said that a 27-year-old female locally stranded returnee from Metro Manila tested positive for the new coronavirus disease.

“Out of 11 [na results], may isang kaso na naman tayo ng COVID-19 na dito sa Puerto Princesa. Siya ay isang female at isang 27-years-old. Siya ay locally stranded individual,” Palanca said.

The female patient arrived in Puerto Princesa on July 10 aboard an airplane. She remained to be asymptomatic and isolated in one of the city’s facilities.

In the southern town of Brooke’s Point, the recent cases are also two locally stranded returnees, a seven-month-old male baby, and a 22-year-old female.

Meanwhile, five COVID-19 patients in Puerto Princesa were discharged late Wednesday. They were a family of five, all of whom from Barangay Sta. Monica, which the local health officers previously reported as a case of “community transmission”.

The total number of recoveries since the pandemic began stood at 36. The province has only had one reported death since the outset of the health crisis.

The recent recoveries in Puerto Princesa include a 6-year old female, a 57-year-old male, a 25-year-old female, a 26-year-old male, and a 28-year-old male. They were close contacts of a healthcare worker from Ospital Ng Palawan (ONP), who was previously reported to have recovered from the infectious disease.

Palawan province has so far recorded a total of 62 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

(With reports from Ruth Rodriguez, Jeshyl Guiroy, Patricia Laririt, and Jane Tumalac)