Rise in COVID-19 cases in Northern Samar traced to church concert - governor


Posted at Jun 12 2021 01:25 PM

MANILA - The recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Northern Samar province has been traced to a church concert, its governor Edwin Ongchuan said Saturday. 

In a public press briefing, Ongchuan said there were people from other municipalities who visited the province for the said concert. He did not say when the event happened.

Northern Samar, located in Eastern Visayas, had 218 active cases, as of June 10, which includes additional 123 additional cases recorded on that day alone. Of the new cases, two have already died.

"Dito po nanggaling sa Victoria, based sa aming contact tracing nagkaroon ng tinatawag nilang church concert may mga kababayan na mula sa ibang bayan na pumunta sa Victoria at sa kasamaang palad may dalawang nasawi doon sa COVID," Ongchuan said. 

(It came from Victoria. Based on our contact tracing, there was a church concert attended even by people outside the municipality. Unfortunately, two have also passed away from COVID.) 

The health department earlier reiterated that gatherings such as parties are still banned to stop possible COVID-19 superspreader events, as it recorded separate incidents of pool and beach parties across the country. 

The regional COVID-19 response task force of Eastern Visayas earlier requested the national government to place the entire region under general community quarantine due to the increase in cases.

Granular lockdowns are also in place in some villages and sitios of Northern Samar province, according to Ongchuan. 

Ongchuan also called on government to speed up the vaccination rollout in the area, as only 2,000 doses of vaccines have been allocated for them. They have not started with the vaccinations for economic frontliners and are still in the A2 category (seniors), he said. 

"Kung sana po ay mabigyan kami ng karagdagang alokasyon, kahit ano po, Sinovac or AstraZeneca, para maibsan ang active cases sa aming probinsiya para ma-attain ang 70 percent herd immunity. Ito ang nakikita nating pag-asa para maibalik sa dating sitwasyon ang aming probinsiya," Ongchuan said. 

(We hope that we could be given additional allocations, AstraZeneca or Sinovac, whichever brand, so we reduce our active cases in the province and attain the 70-percent herd immunity. This is the solution we see to bring the province back to normal.)