Batanes records first COVID-19 case

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 29) — The province of Batanes on Tuesday said it has recorded its first COVID-19 case — nearly eight months since coronavirus was first detected in the country.

The local government of Batanes, in a Facebook post, said the first case was confirmed after a locally-stranded individual (LSI), who later tested positive for COVID-19, arrived in the province on Sept. 22.

It said the patient is asymptomatic and placed under strict isolation in a temporary facility. All close contacts and other LSIs that traveled with the patient are also being monitored.

The northern province remained free from coronavirus for almost eight months despite the continuously rising number of infections in the country. Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco said its far-flung location played a part in containing the entry of the virus.

Lockdown and other health measures were also implemented early, as the provincial government has been monitoring the coronavirus situation in China — where the disease outbreak started — as early as December.

The Department of Health recorded the first COVID-19 case in the country on January 30. The Philippines now has 307,288 confirmed cases. Over 252,000 have recovered, while 5,381 have died.