The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) reported on Tuesday six new negative test results from Palawan, sustaining a continuous trend of zero COVID-19 cases in the province since the onset of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on March 14.

The daily tracking report released by the Department of Health’s (DOH) regional office also showed there are at least 16 remaining tests on pending specimens from Palawan.

“Yes, meron tayong 6 negative results pero hindi pa dito kasama ‘yong 4th and 5th deaths [suspected cases recorded] in Palawan,” said Geraldine Perez, health education and promotion officer of the regional office.

The island province remains to wait for 16 test results from its 33 suspected COVID-19 cases; 21 of whom were admitted in different hospitals while 12 were under strict home quarantine.

RITM was eyeing to finish its backlog tests by April 24, according to national task force (NTF) chief implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr.

This, after the country’s leading COVID testing center, downgraded its operation after 42 of its personnel contracted the deadly infection.

“Simula April 18, sa San Lazaro Hospital na tayo nagpapadala ng samples for Palawan,” Perez added.

Palawan is expected to submit more specimens for testing to the laboratory since the province started its “selective testing” over the weekend.

“Ang natapos pa lang [sa swab testing] ay [municipalties including] El Nido, Quezon, Brooke’s Point, Roxas, at Port Barton [in San Vicente]. Patients and household contact [ang kasama sa mga tine-test],” said provincial health officer (PHO) Dr. Mary Ann Navarro.

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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.