In less than a day after Cuyo town announced that it was COVID-19 free, four fresh cases were reported in this town on Friday morning.

“Medyo masamang balita na naman, sa bayan ng Cuyo ay nagkaroon na naman ng bagong kaso ng COVID-19, apat na tao,” town mayor Mark Delos Reyes told Palawan News in a phone interview on Friday morning.

The four recent COVID-19 cases involved locally stranded returnees, a 23-year-old female, a 24-year-old male, a 20-year-old male, and a 50-year-old female.

All four returning locally stranded individuals (LSI) were from Metro Manila, a known hotspot of the new coronavirus disease. Three of them arrived directly in the island municipality on July 21 aboard a Blessed Journey vessel.

One patient, the 23-year-old female, was ferried via Puerto Princesa on July 8 aboard M/V DA-BFAR through the “Hatid-Tulong” program of the Office of the President. There were 44 other LSIs reported on the same voyage home.

The patients were about to be discharged after completing their 14-day mandatory quarantine period, when they tested positive on the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) on July 21. Their swab samples were taken for confirmatory test that returned positive result on Friday (July 24).

On Thursday afternoon, the Cuyo town has announced that it was back to being a COVID-19 free town after it discharged its previously reported two patients.

The recent development bring the total COVID-19 tally in Palawan province to 73, with only 23 remaining active cases, 49 reported recoveries, and one death.

As of Friday morning (9 a.m., July 24), there are four active cases each in Sofronio Española and Cuyo. Three COVID-19 patients each for Brooke’s Point and Puerto Princesa, while two each are in Taytay, Coron, and Roxas. There is only one active case each for Busuanga, Rizal, and Dumaran.

(With reports from Ruth Rodriguez and Jane Tumalac)