El Nido’s first recorded COVID-19 case is a 27-year-old pregnant female locally stranded returnee from Metro Manila.
Dr. Marian Relucio, the tourist town’s municipal health officer (MHO), said that the female patient arrived on July 11 aboard a “batil”, M/V May Lillies.
“First [COVID-19] positive case ito, LSI. Isa siyang pregnant woman na sumakay ng batil, M/V May Lillies, noong July 11 from Manila to Elnido, 27 years old, asymptomatic siya upon arrival then after wala siyang symptoms,” Relucio said.
The patient was about to complete her mandatory 14-day quarantine period when she became rapid diagnostic test (RDT) reactive, prompting for her confirmatory test that returned positive on Monday (July 27) from the Ospital ng Palawan.
“Negative siya sa rapid test pagdating niya kaya lang noong tinest kasi siya noong Saturday, supposedly pag-uwi nila doon siya nag-positive sa IgG at saka sa IgM. Nakunan siya ng swab Saturday (July 25) ng umaga and then nai-send ang specimen tapos noong Sunday (July 26) ginawa, and then na-release ang result ngayong umaga lang,” Relucio added.
The pregnant patient was moved to the town’s isolation facility for monitoring.
On the same day, one fresh case each was also reported for Araceli and Puerto Princesa.
Rhealene Villarta-Fernando, a nurse and Araceli health officer-in-charge, in a separate interview, said that this town’s first COVID-19 patient is a 26-year-old male LSI.
He arrived on July 26 in Puerto Princesa City from Meteo Manila via AirAsia. The patient is also currently held in an isolation facility of the provincial government in Puerto Princesa City.
“Nag-positive sya sa RDT kaya na-subject siya sa swab test. Lumabas ang result kaninang umaga na positive siya. Nasa Puerto Princesa pa siya hindi na rin namin sya pinabiyahe pauwi ng Araceli. Naka-quarantine pa sya dyan sa Puerto [Princesa City],” Villarta-Fernando told Palawan News.
Villarta-Fernando added that the patient manifested symptoms such as cough and sore throat.
In Puerto Princesa, Dr. Dean Palanca, the city incident commander, in an announcement aired live on Facebook, said that a 27-year-old LSI is this town’s most recent COVID-19 patient.
The patient showed signs and symptoms of the virus while in their quarantine facility.
“Kahapon nagsagawa na naman kami ng swab test sa 32 individuals, out of 32 ay isa lang yong ating kumpirmado na bagong kaso ng COVID-19. Siya ay isang male, isang 27-years-old at siya po ay dumating sakay ng plane. Habang nandoon siya sa quarantine facility, doon siya nagkaroon ng signs and symptoms kaya siya ay ini-schedule na ma-swab. Noong ma-swab siya kahapon (July 26), siya ay nagkaroon ng COVID-19,” Palanca said.
Dr. Palanca said the remaining 31 samples cleared their confirmatory tests. The number includes the family members of the City Health Office (CHO) personnel who previously tested COVID-19 positive and around 25 other health personnel and staff of the same office.
“Yong natitirang 31 samples natin ay lahat naman po sila ay negatibo sa examination para sa COVID-19. Yong 31 samples ay kasama na rin yong mga — kung matatandaan niyo meron tayong kaso ngayon na galing dito sa amin, kapamilya namin sa CHO na nag-positibo — ngayon tinest natin yong kanyang pamilya kahapon negative naman. Kasama sila sa 31 samples na nag-negative at merong humigit kumulang na 25 personnel ng CHO na direct contact na lahat naman ay negatibo sa swab test na ginawa sa ONP,” he added.
The recent development brought the total COVID-19 tally in Palawan province to 82, with 30 active cases, 51 recoveries, and one death.
Of the active cases, five are in Sofronio Española, four each in Brooke’s Point, Puerto Princesa, and Cuyo. Coron has three, while two each for Taytay and Roxas. The town of Busuanga, Rizal, Dumaran, Aborlan, Araceli, and El Nido have one active case each.
(With reports from Ruth Rodriguez and Jane Tumalac)