3 Luzon provinces post zero COVID-19 case
Not a single case of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was recorded in the provinces of Cavite, Rizal and Quezon on Jan. 3, the first time in nearly a year since the government announced a local virus transmission.
In the provinces of Laguna and Batangas, the Department of Health (DOH) recorded three and 17 new cases, respectively, bringing the total number of active cases in the densely populated Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region to 4,505.
In Albay, the provincial capital of Legazpi City had recorded zero COVID-19 case for 10 consecutive days.
Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal, chair of the city’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), said the city also recorded a 95-percent recovery rate, with 373 of 389 patients cleared of the disease. Only 16 deaths (4 percent) were recorded since the pandemic struck in March.
‘Don’t celebrate just yet’
Since March last year when the government first imposed a community quarantine to curb the virus spread, Calabarzon listed 68,866 cases with 1,913 deaths.
But local officials were quick to caution the public against letting their guard down.
“Don’t celebrate just yet. Despite the relative flattening of the curve, malayo pa rin tayo sa kaligtasan at tagumpay (we are far from safety and victory against the virus),” said Cavite Gov. Juanito Victor “Jonvic” Remulla Jr. in a Facebook post on Monday.
Remulla said he was actually expecting a surge on the second week of the new year (Jan. 10-14), when numbers would start to reflect new infections due to family gatherings and mall visits during the holidays.
Last December, Remulla said Cavite’s daily average of new COVID-19 cases was down to 14, which he attributed to “heightened” public awareness and compliance with health and safety protocols.
Dr. Eduardo Janairo, DOH regional director, earlier said a “case spike” was expected this month, especially because of potential “superspreaders” in mass and indoor gatherings.
Laguna’s health officer, Rene Bagamasbad, said the province’s daily average had sharply gone down from about 3,000 to 500 over the last five months. “[But] the data might reflect case surges after [Christmas] season,” he said.
Legazpi Mayor Rosal, in a telephone interview on Monday, said the 10 days that the city had not reported any COVID-19 case was a significant breakthrough he attributed to the efficient management of the IATF, as well as community cooperation in pursuing strict health protocols.
Among the health guidelines being enforced is the close monitoring of arrivals of returning residents and essential personnel in airports, seaports, transport terminals and villages where they undergo profiling, assessment and swab test.
They also have to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Border checkpoints have been established in five areas—the Legazpi domestic airport and the villages of Padang, Taysan, Bogtong and Em’s Barrio.
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