Ilocos Sur logs 6 COVID-19 deaths, 1 UK variant

VIGAN CITY — The Ilocos Sur Provincial Health Office reported six more deaths due to COVID-19 from April 04 to 14, while the entry of the first UK variant was discovered in a recovered patient from Sta. Lucia town.

The death of the six patients was confirmed by Gov. Ryan Luis Singson in a Facebook post on April 13. The latest fatalities were residents of the towns of Sta. Cruz, Galimuyod, Candon City, Vigan City, Narvacan, and Sta. Lucia. This brings the total fatalities in the province to 11.

In Sta. Lucia town, Mayor Joseph Simon Valdez issued Executive Order (EO) No. 15 last Wednesday mandating the conduct of mass testing after the Department of Health confirmed the presence of the COVID-19 UK variant B117 in the sample of a recovered patient (IS-C406) residing here. The Department of Health has identified B117 as a more contagious variant of COVID-19.

The patient was identified as a 58-year-old female who works at the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) in the Candon City Branch, with no travel history, but was exposed to a colleague who traveled to the National Capital Region to attend a meeting at the national office of the said agency.

Places identified by the Rural Health Unit (RHU) as high-risk areas where mass testing are to be conducted include the public market; barangays Luba, Catayagan and Alincaoeg; the municipal hall; St. Lucy Parish Church; and the Universal Leaf Philippines, Inc. office.

One of the latest fatalities was a resident of Barangay Catayagan of this town.

The first batch of testing was conducted last Friday at the Governor Titong Singson Memorial Auditorium. The schedule for the second batch of testing is yet to be announced as of this writing.

Last April 7, Singson declared the imposition of the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine status on 13 towns and cities including Bantay, Cabugao, Cervantes, Narvacan, San Esteban, Santa, Sta Maria, Sta. Lucia, Sinait, Suyo, Tagudin, Vigan City and Candon City, lasting from April 7 to 21, 2021. On April 16, the towns of Alilem and Sugpon were added to the list, with MECQ status lasting from April 17 to 30.

“With the abrupt increase of new cases, recorded local community transmissions in the said municipalities, full occupancy of all isolation facilities, absence of a Level 3 hospital, and depletion of health workers in the province, the COVID-19 Task Force of Ilocos Sur recommended the reclassification of the status of these local government units (LGUs) in order to contain the virus,” Governor Singson said. 

As of yesterday, Ilocos Sur has 952 total confirmed COVID-19 cases, 220 active, 721 recovered, and 11 deaths.