TACLOBAN CITY - The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed that samples from Eastern Visayas tested positive for the COVID-19 variant first detected in the United Kingdom.
Two of the patients carrying the said variant were from Catubig, Northern Samar, both of whom were considered locally stranded individuals (LSI).
The other 2, meanwhile, were from Calbayog City, Samar. The DOH said it is conducting an ongoing surveillance in Calbayog.
Health authorities have also said that the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC), the region's major referral hospital, is currently in its full bed capacity for COVID-19 patients with 40 pending referrals.
There were 258 newly-reported COVID-19 cases in the region on Wednesday, the highest so far this year.
Leyte province, meanwhile, recorded 74 new infections, followed by Southern Leyte (59), Ormoc City (30), and Tacloban City (26).
The region has 21,176 total COVID-19 cases to date, of which 1,145 or 5.41 percent are considered active cases.
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The virus claimed 324 lives in Eastern Visayas, while recoveries stood at 19,707 or 93.06 percent of their cumulative total.
DOH said the harrowing trend of rising infections could be traced to public gatherings like birthday parties, which are considered super spreader events.
Health authorities also attributed the rising virus infections there to the local presence of the new variant.
The health agency strongly advised localities to ensure that public health standards are being followed, and that they implement necessary measures to mitigate the spread of transmission.
- report from Sharon Evite