Negros Or. health exec: 2 COVID positive fishers got virus on fishing boat
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The two out of the 164 fishermen, who arrived in Negros Oriental on May 21 and tested positive of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), were infected with the virus from the boat they were on, said the Negros Oriental Provincial Health Office (NOPHO).
Dr. Liland Estacion, NOPHO assistant provincial health officer, said that they believed that the patients caught the infection while onboard the vessel, and she assured that there was no local transmission involved in the new cases because all were placed under isolation since they disembarked from the fishing vessel last May 21.
“Kini silang nag-positive karon, nakuha ni nila sa barko. Dili nila nakuha diri sa atong probinsya. Mao nay klaro natong istorya. Kini sila nagpositive silang duha gikan sa barko, dili local transmission sa atong probinsya,” Dr. Estacion added.
(These people who tested positive, got the virus from their boat. They did not got the virus from Negros Oriental province. That is the truth. They tested positive and got the virus from the boat. This is not a local transmission from the province.)
When asked where the patients possibly got the virus, Estacion said they believed it was from the ship, citing that the vessel’s captain had earlier died and eventually tested positive of the infection.
The health official said the public should not worry about this development because none of the fishermen were able to go home or roam around when they arrived or since they disembarked from the fishing boat in Negros Oriental.
The announcement of the two fishermen out of the 164 fishermen aboard the fishing vessel, Phillip DR, who arrived at Negros Oriental and disembarked on May 21, was aired live during a media briefing through the Negros Oriental Provincial Government Facebook page on Sunday afternoon, May 31, 2020.
Dr. Estacion also said that the two fishermen were asymptomatic and had been transferred to the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital.
The new COVID-19 patients are a 30-year-old man, who is a native of Ayungon town in Negros Oriental, and a 48-year-old man, who hails from Samboan town in Cebu province.
Prior to the positive patients’ transfer to the COVID ward of Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital, they were under quarantine in the Negros Oriental High School with the other fishermen.
Estacion said the COVID-19 patients and the other fishermen under quarantine would be subject for a repeat test for the coronavirus disease anytime today./dbs
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