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Samar hospital worker catches coronavirus

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TACLOBAN CITY – A hospital employee in Tarangnan, Samar is the region’s 14th coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patient in Eastern Visayas region, the Department of Health (DOH) regional office here reported Sunday night.

The 54-year-old female administrative officer of Tarangnan Community Hospital is the region’s 9th patient who contracted the disease through community transmission in Tarangnan, a coastal town in Samar province.

Health authorities rushed her to the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center here Sunday night since she is also suffering from hypertension, said DOH Regional Director Minerva Molon.

The patient, a resident of Catbalogan City, manifested symptoms similar to those of coronavirus on April 24 after exposure to a Covid-19 carrier at her workplace.

“The current situation points to a community transmission in Tarangnan, Samar. Swab tests performed are more than 400 to determine the presence of continuing transmission in the said municipality,” Molon said in a statement.

The patient is the only one who turned positive of the deadly virus among the batch of 94 samples with results released Sunday by the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City.

Tarangnan, a 4th-class coastal town, is considered as the most affected area by the health crisis in Eastern Visayas.

The town had its first two confirmed cases on April 7. They are personnel of the 10-bed Tarangnan Community Hospital who got the virus from their co-worker, a doctor from Calbayog City, who recently traveled to Metro Manila.

On April 20, a kitchen staff of the hospital tested positive for the virus, the same day the two hospital staff members were discharged.

The DOH confirmed on April 27 six new Covid-19 patients from Tarangnan. Most of them are health workers and some are neighbors of the town’s first three infected persons.

Of all patients linked to Tarangnan community transmission, five are being treated at the town’s community hospital and two are confined at EVRMC, the region’s referral hospital for Covid-19.

The region’s 14th Covid-19 positive is the first case in Catbalogan City, the capital of Samar province, and home to about 104,000 people.

Of the 14 cases in the region, nine of them are from Tarangnan town; two from Burauen, Leyte; and one each from Catbalogan, Samar; Calbayog, Samar, and Catarman, Northern Samar. At least five of them have recovered from the infectious disease. (PNA)