Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion on Friday cautioned the public from being complacent in the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
She urged everyone to continue adhering to the minimum health protocols to prevent the spread of any variants or mutations of the virus, in case these are present in the province.
Estacion, the health committee chair of the province’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), in a virtual presser, said so far, they have not monitored suspects or probable cases of the variants in Negros Oriental.
Her statement came after media reports in the region said the Department of Health in Region 7 (DOH-7) is conducting bio-surveillance on two coronavirus mutations in Cebu, a neighboring province of Negros Oriental.
The media reports further said that two mutations of the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes the Covid-19 were detected in Cebu, according to Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH-7 chief pathologist.
The “mutations of concern” are coded as E484K and N501Y, Loreche was quoted as saying.
Estacion, in reaction to this, said they have not received any advisory from DOH-7 and that she only learned about it in the news.
“Maski unsa pa diha nga hulga nga variant nga muabot nato (regardless of what kind of threat brought about by any variant arrives here), if we are only enforcing the strict minimum health protocols, (we will) be physically healthy,” she said.
Meanwhile, Negros Oriental recorded additional recoveries from Covid-19 even as the number of positive cases here appears to be slowing down.
Estacion said there are 11 more recoveries and five new positive cases.
The five new confirmed cases are one each from Bacong, Dauin, Sibulan, Bais City, and La Libertad.
The new recoveries are from Sta. Catalina (five); Dumaguete City and Zamboanguita (two each); and Dauin and Sibulan (one each).
As of Feb. 19, Negros Oriental has logged a total of 1,638 Covid-19 cases, broken down into 1,440 recoveries, 146 active positive infections, and 52 recorded mortalities.
(Mary Judaline Partlow via Philippine News Agency (PNA), photo courtesy of PNA)