Virus-free status of Batanes short-lived; 2 COVID-19 cases logged
ITBAYAT, Batanes — This northernmost province briefly obtained a virus-free status on Monday (Jan. 3) after two returning locally stranded individuals (LSIs) contracted COVID-19.
As of 11 a.m. on Monday, the province had zero active COVID-19 cases after its lone COVID-19 patient recovered from the disease, but Gov. Marilou Cayco said this was short-lived after the two LSIs, who arrived from Manila via a Philippine Airlines flight, tested positive for COVID-19 in the afternoon.
Cayco said this will delay plans to revive tourism in Batanes even on a limited scale.
“Mayroon na tayong plano for tourism industry opening pero antayin natin matapos ang Molecular Laboratory Testing Facility at tingnan din natin ang situation sa Manila,” Cayco said.
The Department of Health has alloted P10 million for the molecular laboratory and another P10 million for the isolation facility at Batanes General Hospital, according to Dr. Jeffrey Canceran, hospital director.
The construction of the molecular laboratory is underway and is targeted for completion by March this year.
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