In Albay, Mayon evacuees watched as 2 get COVID
LEGAZPI CITY — The Department of Health (DOH) Bicol has stepped up its monitoring of Albay residents in temporary shelters to curb the spread of the viral disease after two evacuees in Daraga town tested positive for COVID-19 early this week.
Dr. Ernie Vera, DOH regional director in Bicol, said in an online interview on Thursday that they were expecting a possible increase in the number of evacuees contracting diseases because of the crowded rooms and the extreme heat while Mayon Volcano remains on alert level 3.
“We don’t want to have an abnormal increase in cases in evacuation centers because we know it’s basically preventable,” Vera said.
On Wednesday, the DOH reported that a 12-year-old boy, an evacuee from Daraga, tested positive for COVID-19 after he was exposed to an 82-year-old woman who contracted the viral disease on June 18.
Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo said the elderly patient, a resident of Barangay Matnog who evacuated to Gabawan Elementary School in Barangay Gabawan, first consulted with health workers stationed at the evacuation site for a mild cough. She underwent a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, confirming she had COVID.
The boy, who tested positive in the RT-PCR test on Monday, was taken to an isolation area in a hospital in Barangay Anislag where the older patient is also staying. The boy was described as asymptomatic.
The two patients were staying in the same classroom since June 9 when the evacuation of residents living within Mayon Volcano’s danger zones was in progress.
About 30 of their close contacts were quarantined and were tested again for exposure to the minor.
“It is nothing to be alarmed about. We have instructions in all evacuation centers to monitor the health situation of the evacuees and immediately give them medicine, especially those who have coughs and colds,” Baldo said on Thursday. —MA. APRIL MIER-MANJARES
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