TACLOBAN CITY — The Department of Health (DoH) in Eastern Visayas reported 436 new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the region — the highest number of new cases in a single day in the last three months.
The new cases outpaced the 282 new recoveries of the day and pushed the total number of Covid-19 cases in the region to 45,388 of which 2,322 were reported as active cases — also the highest number of active cases in the third quarter of the year.
The rise in Covid-19 cases is already raising concerns among residents in the region, fearful that the highly transmittable Delta variant may partly be responsible for the resurgence and that the actual number of people infected with the strain may be higher than what has been reported.
Based on the daily Covid-19 update from the DoH regional office 173 of the total new cases were from Leyte, 70 from Samar, 52 from Southern Leyte, 48 from Ormoc City, 45 from Tacloban City, 28 from Biliran, 16 from Northern Samar and four from Eastern Samar.
The new cases were recorded out of 1,854 samples were tested in three Covid-19 laboratories of the region — the Eastern Visayas Regional Covid-19 Testing Center, Divine Word Hospital Virology Laboratory and Ormoc Molecular Diagnostic Center — while 73 samples were submitted to Philippine Red Cross Molecular Laboratory.
This represents a 23 percent positivity rate.
Jelyn Lopez, regional information officer at DoH-8, said there is a possibility that there may be Delta variant cases that were not reported but this cannot be confirmed unless their specimen undergoes genome sequencing at Philippine Genome Center (PGC).
On Monday, DoH-8 reported 34 new cases of the Delta variant in the region from among the 104 samples submitted to PGC for genome sequencing last 10 August.
Eastern Visayas now has a total of 65 cases of the Delta variant identified in the region.