The towns of Cuyo and Taytay are the latest to join the watch list of Palawan municipalities with COVID-19 cases, as five new confirmed cases were added to the province’s running total today (Thursday).

Cuyo reported its first two confirmed cases and Taytay its first. In all cases, both municipalities indicated that their cases were all returning residents or LSIs.

At the same time, two new cases were also reported by Bataraza, placing the town’s total to six and the province’s running tally to 39. Of this number, 34 are active cases.

In Taytay, Zanie Seracarpio, the municipal information officer, told Palawan News that their first confirmed COVID-19 case involved a 25-year-old male locally stranded returnee who arrived on June 15 from Cebu.

“Siya ay isang 25-years-old na lalaki. Isa siyang locally stranded individual (LSI) galing Cebu City at umuwi sa Palawan noong June 15. Negative siya noong rapid diagnostic test [niya] noong dumating. Naka-quarantine pa siya ating facility sa munisipyo mula noong June 15,” Seracarpio said.

“Ika-14 days niya na kahapon sa quarantine facility at lumabas nga itong result. Naka-isolate siya hanggang ngayon,” Seracarpio added.

Taytay town mayor Romy Salvame, in a separate interview confirmed that contact tracing is now being undertaken.

“Naka-isolate na siya at nasa facility natin. May contact tracing na din tayong ginawa kasi dati syang LSI, sana sundin natin ang protocol,” Salvame said.

Meanwhile, the Cuyo municipal government broke the news of its first two confirmed cases through a post on Facebook. It said that their cases involves LSIs from the second batch of town returnee arrivals from Metro Manila.

“Dalawa sa ating LSIs ang nagpositibo sa RT-PCR test, kasabay ang dalawang ito sa second batch na mula sa Manila. Noong dumating sila, nagpositibo din sila sa RDT at agad na idineretso sa isolation facilty. Ang swab ay ipinadala natin sa accredited testing center at ngayon lamang dumating ang resulta at nagpositibo ang dalawa,” the statement said.

The Cuyo patients are reportedly asymptomatic and are under observation by local municipal health officers.

Bataraza town mayor Abraham Ibba, in a separate interview also Thursday, said that the town recorded two more COVID-19 positive patients bringing the total tally to six in this southern town.

“Confirmed may nagpositivie additional dalawa. Ito ay kasamahan din ‘yon na-swab test ‘yong June 15. Nauna ‘yong kahapon ‘yong lumabas ‘yong result noong dalawa ngayon araw itong another dalawa,” Ibba said.

The Bataraza patients are both males in their 20s who arrived on June 9. They remained to be isolated in one of the town’s facilities, according to Ibba.

The Palawan province recorded a total of 39 confirmed COVID-19 cases so far, with four recoveries, one casualty, and 34 active cases.

Of the active cases, 13 are in Puerto Princesa, three are in Coron, six are in Sofronio Española, three are in Busuanga, one in Taytay, two in Cuyo, and six are in Bataraza, as of 12 p.m., Thursday (July 2).

(With reports from Celeste Anna Formoso, Ruth Rodriguez, Ruil Alabi, and Bella Mutia)