- MITCH M. LIPA
The Emergency Operations Center of San Carlos City confirmed Sept. 5 their first Delta case, and Mayor Renato Gustilo said the patient died Aug. 12 at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City.
Gustilo said the patient died of complications since he had comorbidity but the result of the swab sample sent to the Philippine Genome Center that showed he was infected with the highly-contagious Delta variant of the COVID-19 came out only last week.
The patient was the sixth Delta case in Negros Occidental and the second COVID-related death in the province.
The first death was the nine-year-old boy from Silay City, who succumbed to meningitis complications, also in August, but the genome sequencing result was only released three weeks after his death.
The first Delta case of San Carlos was a returning overseas Filipino from Bahrain and in his mid-40s.
The local EOC, upon receipt of the PGC result, immediately checked the conditions of his close contacts, but the Contact Tracing Team reported that the two, who were swabbed after the ROF tested positive for COVID, have been declared fully recovered when they yielded negative in the RT-PCR tests.
The other Delta cases, one each from Pulupandan, Valladolid, La Carlota, and Talisay City have also been declared fully recovered by the Provincial Health Office.
The San Carlos city government and EOC, meanwhile, appealed to residents to get vaccinated with a surge in COVID cases noted in the locality.
Dr. Jessa Tiapon, EOC Health Cluster head, said that only 11,702 individuals have been vaccinated, and the priority group A2, or senior citizens, logged the lowest number of vaccinees.
She said they have adjusted the system to improve the vaccination program of the city by conducting offsite inoculations and “rekorida” in the barangays since there are residents with limited access to information, especially those in mountain and far-flung barangays.
In a press conference Sept. 2, Gustilo said that positive cases in the city have reached 63 and urged unvaccinated residents to grab the available free vaccines provided by the government.
Gustilo also appealed to residents to notify the city government of suspected COVID cases for the welfare of other people, and to seek proper medical care if they show symptoms of the virus and not just rely on over-the-counter drugs, a press release from the city said.
He reiterated the importance of minimum health protocols and the cooperation within the community to prevent lockdowns and to continue the economic activities in the city.
Dr. Wilmer Yap, EOC incident commander, stressed that while the vaccine may not give a 100 percent protection from the virus, an infected person will only experience mild symptoms if already vaccinated.
Also present at the presscon were Joe Recalex Alingasa Jr., EOC manager, and Dr. Mary Genevieve Montaño, EOC Medical Cluster head. –MML