By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson confirmed yesterday that provincial health officer (PHO) Dr. Ernell Tumimbang has tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19.
Lacson added that aside from Tumimbang, medical technicians and encoders at the Provincial Molecular Laboratory in Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City also contracted COVID-19.
Due to the lack of medtechs and encoders, the governor noted that there was a slowdown in the release of the RT-PCR test results in the past few days.
“Some of the swab samples are being tested now at the second provincial lab in Valladolid,” Lacson said.
Also, 17 nurses and utility personnel of Ignacio Arroyo Sr. Memorial District Hospital in Isabela town also fell ill to COVID-19 and are now at the Provincial Quarantine and Healing Center in Mambukal Resort in Murcia.
“We are hit hard by the Delta variant. Let us do our share. Avoid getting sick,” Lacson reminded everyone.
The governor also revealed that based on data, the active COVID-19 cases in the province could hit up to 4,000 this month.
The province already has 3,868 active cases.
“The spread of the virus is very fast, reaching almost triple this month and that made us conclude that the Delta variant is hitting the province. We continue doing the contact tracing and treating. We should take the available vaccines especially for senior citizens because it shows that most of those who died were unvaccinated,” Lacson said.
He however assured that the province has enough logistics and that funds are good up to the end of this year.
“I have instructed to make the medicines available because it’s already getting scarce,” he added.
The governor also revealed that the capacity of the provincial oxygen plant in Silay City will be increased and that funds will be taken from the savings of the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Program./DGB, WDJ