A COVID-19 patient from Coron who died of the disease Tuesday this week in a hospital in Culion appears to have spread the pandemic virus to at least 15 other people, information released by local officials Friday indicated.

The case was initially described by a local health official as a “community transmission case” but this was later retracted and clarified to be a local transmission case.

Apart from the 15 new cases, another returning individual was also added to the town’s active cases. Coron officially logged 16 new confirmed cases today (Friday), the highest daily surge so far recorded in the province since the pandemic.

Dr. Alan Guintapan, Coron Municipal Health Officer, in an interview with Palawan News, clarified that the cases did not qualify as “community transmission” or a spread of the virus in at least two separate locations.

“Dito lang sa isang komunidad. Local transmission lang, dito pa rin sa isang barangay, lahat yan nasa Barangay Tagumpay. Kapag community transmission, ‘yon ‘yong sa iba’t-ibang barangay,” he said.

The 15 new patients, who were close contacts of the town’s first COVID-19 casualty, include males aged 16, 53, 3, 28, 20, 49, and an eight-month-old baby. The female direct contacts were aged 43, 28, 60, 7, 16, 51, 20, and 25.

All close contacts were asymptomatic except the 53-year-old male who was reported to have cough, colds, and fever. They all have no history of travel and living in the same compound in Barangay Tagumpay in Coron town, which was earlier placed on lockdown.

Meanwhile, an allowed person outside residence (APOR), was also reported to be COVID-19 positive. The 55-year-old male APOR arrived on August 9 aboard 2Go Shipping Lines. The local health authorities said he lost his sense of taste on his 5th day at the quarantine facility.

The Coron town has now recorded a total of 29 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 20 active cases, eight recoveries, and one death.

(With reports from Ruth Rodriguez)

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