The number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in Negros Oriental has doubled in the last four days as health authorities are tightening border control amid the Omicron variant threat.
Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion, in a virtual presser Friday afternoon, said from 24 active cases reported last January 3, the infections are now pegged at 48.
Of the currently active cases, this capital city has the highest at 15.
Estacion said while there is no Omicron case yet in the province, the people should think of the current spike as most likely caused by this Covid-19 variant, considering the fast transmission of the virus.
“We should not wait for a confirmed Omicron variant infection here before we take the necessary steps to protect ourselves from this fast-spreading mutation. We should be vigilant and mindful of our movements and continue adhering to minimum health protocols,” she said in mixed English and Cebuano.
She also said that people must avoid large gatherings and non-essential trips outside of their homes again to stem the spread of Covid-19 now that the Omicron variant has reached the country.
Negros Oriental is still at Alert Level 2 with people enjoying lesser restrictions during the holidays as opposed to strict quarantine regulations beginning the third quarter of 2021 when the province experienced its third wave of infections.
The current caseload of Negros Oriental is 19,801, broken down into 19,086 recoveries, 48 active cases, and 667 mortalities.
Security and border control measures have been tightened at the airport here, the coastal entry and exit points such as the Tampi, Amlan and Sibulan wharves, and land-based checkpoints at the borders with Negros Occidental, which has recorded its first recovery from Omicron.
Source: Philippines News Agency