Palawan saw its COVID-19 cases increase from two to 16 during the week of November 2-8, with 12 reported from Mangsee Island in Balabac and one each from Puerto Princesa City and El Nido town.

Two of the14 new cases are classified as “local transmission” cases.

The province previously had four active cases. It went down to two following the recovery of two patients in Culion on Sunday, November 8.

The island town of Balabac is no longer COVID-free after a total of 12 COVID-19 cases were reported throughout the week.

El Nido also reported its first-ever local transmission case amidst its scheduled tourism re-opening to domestic tourism.

El Nido broke its 44-day COVID-free streak on November 5 when a 21-year-old female resident tested positive in a paid swab test in Puerto Princesa City prior to her international flight. She is currently in an isolation facility in the city.

Balabac, formerly COVID-free since the beginning of the pandemic, recorded its first two cases Tuesday, November 3. The patients, two females aged 40 and 57, had arrived in Mangsee Island from neighboring island province Tawi-Tawi.

On Sunday, November 8, contact tracing efforts from the town health unit reported 10 new cases, all of whom were close contacts of the two patients. Balabac now has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the province, while Mangsee Island was placed under a 14-day hard lockdown beginning Thursday, November 5.

Puerto Princesa City also reported a new local transmission case Saturday, a six-year-old male resident of Barangay Sta. Monica. The city was declared COVID-free on October 29 but currently has one active case.

The town of Cuyo still has two active cases, each of which have still been active since last week.

The remaining towns without any reported COVID-19 cases are Cagayancillo, Linapacan, and the Kalayaan group of islands. (with reports from Ruth Rodriguez, Jane Tumalac, Romar Miranda, and Patricia Laririt)

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