Siquijor's new COVID-19 cases bring fear, uncertainty to some residents

Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2020 08:12 PM

After the provincial government of Siquijor announced over the weekend that they have two cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), residents were quick to express their fear.

The province has been free from COVID-19 since the country recorded its first case of the disease on Jan. 30 in a Chinese woman who arrived from the Chinese city of Wuhan where the disease is believed to have first emerged.

Siquijor's two cases involved returning residents who were previously stranded in Manila.

One hails from Lazi who exhibited symptoms while on quarantine.

The other is from Larena who was able to board a ship to Negros Oriental using the negative rapid test despite having been swabbed at a hospital in Navotas. While in transit, the hospital called the patient to inform him that he tested positive.

A resident, Shirley Emperado, said that she is scared not only for herself but for the whole province.

"Manghinaot lang ta nga dili mu-spread (Let's hope that it would not spread)," she said.

Jebsen Caluza also said she is scared because it may dangerous if the virus spreads, considering that Siquijor is a lone island.

The provincial government said though that there is no local transmission, and both patients are in isolation.

The other passengers who arrived with the two patients were also tested for COVID-19, but the results of their swab tests are still pending.

"We are disappointed that despite efforts, the virus came into our province," Governor Zaldy Villa, speaking in the dialect, said in an official statement.

The Department of Health will help the province which only has a Level 1 facility for COVID-19.

"Negros Oriental, the closest province, will house the patients which will exhibit moderate to critical symptoms," said DOH 7 spokesperson Doctor Mary Jean Loreche.

The province is hopeful that the two patients will recover as they continue to be in isolation.