Three recent deaths — two in Puerto Princesa City and another in Balabac, both reported on Thursday — have underscored the continuing deterioration of the COVID-19 situation in Palawan, a trend that has begun since early March.

Dr. Dean Palanca, commander of the Puerto Princesa City Incident Management Team (IMT), in an advisory issued by the City Information Office (CIO) on Thursday morning, said that a 74-year-old male patient from Purok Maligaya in Barangay Tagburos, and a 68-year-old male from Bonifacio Street in Bgy. Masipag, both died in the wee hours on Wednesday at a government hospital in Puerto Princesa.

This brings the total number of deaths in the city to 10, eight of which were recorded within just the month of April.

In the southern Palawan town of Balabac, a 75-year-old male COVID-19 patient expired at a government hospital in Brooke’s Point town on Thursday, the first COVID-related death in the municipality.

Balabac Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO) chief Mitra Tanjilani, in a phone interview on Thursday, said the deceased patient previously tested positive on the deadly virus through an RT-PCR test conducted on April 27.

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As of Thursday (12 p.m.), Puerto Princesa has logged 278 active COVID-19 cases from a total of 639 confirmed cases, with 249 recoveries and 12 deaths.

The Palawan towns collectively recorded 117 active cases from a total of 591 reported COVID-19 cases, with 466 recoveries and eights casualties.

The island towns of Kalayaan at the West Philippine Sea, and Linapacan on northeast of Palawan, remained free from the virus since the onset of the pandemic on March 2020.

(With reports from Loren Jane Tumalac and Ruil Alabi)

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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.