A 6th confirmed COVID-19 case in Barangay Sta. Monica was announced by the City’s Incident Management Team (IMT) on Friday, a case which local health officials said was not linked to the current five active cases in the same locality.
Dr. Dean Palanca, city incident commander, said the patient is a 27-year-old female resident of Brgy. Sta. Monica, who is not a close contact of any previously reported confirmed cases in Puerto Princesa.
“Kahapon nagkaroon kami ng another nine samples na pina-swab for RT-PCR GeneXpert, bumalik na ngayong araw ang resulta ng nine na samples mula sa ONP. Doon sa siyam ay may isa na confirmed case ng COVID-19. May isa na naman tayong confirmed case ng COVID-19,” Palanca said.
Dr. Palanca said that the patient was already confined in a facility for symptoms before her swab results came in.
“Siya ay isang female, 27-years-old, at siya ay nakatira rin sa Brgy. Sta. Monica. Right now, siya ay ilang araw ng nasa facility natin dahil ni-refer sa amin para ma-examine. ‘Yong family ay kinausap na rin po ‘yon at other than family members, ‘yong pasyente mismo kinakausap kung sinu-sino pa ang mga tao na nagkaroon ng close contact sa kanya dito sa Puerto Princesa,” Palanca added.
Sta. Monica is now an emerging hotspot of COVID-19 cases in Palawan province with a total of six confirmed cases, the largest number so far in just one community.
The female patient was isolated in one of the city’s facilities while contact tracing is being undertaken, according to Palanca.
“Ito ay isang dagdag sa ating kaso ng community transmission, hiwalay na siya sa kaso na na-discuss natin kahapon. Panibago siya, iba po ang apelyido niya, iba ang family na ito, so hiwalay ito kahit na iisang barangay ito as a community transmission,” Palanca said.
Village chief Ronaldo Sayang, in a Facebook announcement Thursday, reiterated that a lockdown will not be enforced despite the rising number of confirmed cases. Sayang added however that strict curfew hours, and tight security patrols would be enforced to ensure that only essential people outside their residences will be allowed to further contain the highly infectious disease.
The recent development brings the total COVID-19 positive tally to 23, with one recovery, one death, six in Sta. Monica, seven in other parts of Puerto Princesa, five in Sofronio Española, and three in Coron.
(With reports from Celeste Anna Formoso and Ruth Rodriguez)