The island towns of Coron and Busuanga are the new hotspots for COVID-19 cases, with local health authorities reporting this week the spread of confirmed cases due to community transmission.
Coron has logged 32 active cases so far while Busuanga has imposed a 48-hour lockdown of its main population center Barangay Salvacion to facilitate contact tracing related to the death of a local resident last week.
Meanwhile, Puerto Princesa City which had previously seen its active cases shoot to close to 50 cases at one point, remained with 12 active cases, all involving returning travelers who had tested positive upon arrival.
Under the Busuanga lockdown, all establishments have been ordered closed except for those involved in food and medicine distribution, including financial establishments.
Testing has finally resumed in the province, following the arrival of reagent supplies to the province lone RT-PCR laboratory at the Ospital ng Palawan.
On September 2, nine new cases in Coron were announced. On September 5, an additional 11 cases were confirmed, with officials admitting the virus has been spreading through “community transmission.”
Busuanga recorded its first COVID-19 death as a case of local transmission.
“Ang deni-determine na lang natin ngayon, kung sino ‘yong possible na naging [source] or saan niya na-contract itong virus. ‘Yon pa rin ang inaalam natin sa ngayong kung kanino siya nakakuha o nahawa ng virus,” Busuanga information officer Jonathan Dabuit said.
Elsewhere in the province, the town of Roxas announced one new case Wednesday (September 2).
Brooke’s Point also announced two new cases, one on Wednesday (September 2) and another on Saturday (September 5).
Rizal recorded one new case Saturday (September 5), a 23-year-old male returning local.
Puerto Princesa City recorded a total of five new cases Wednesday (September 2)
The remaining towns without any recorded cases are Linapacan, Cagayancillo, Balabac, and the Kalayaan group of islands.
(With reports from Romar Miranda, Jane Tumalac, Ruth Rodriguez, and Patricia Laririt)