Eastern Visayas logs highest COVID-19 cases since 2020

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Tacloban City (CNN Philippines, January 21) — Eastern Visayas logs 879 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the highest since the virus was first detected in 2020.

The region also recorded its highest positivity rate at 69%.

With these new infections, Eastern Visayas currently has 3, 710 active cases.

Of the 879 new cases, 299 are from Leyte, 180 from Tacloban, 156 from Samar, 121 from Eastern Samar, 47 from Southern Leyte, 42 from Ormoc City, 24 from Biliran province, and 10 from Northern Samar.

Due to increasing cases of COVID-19, the regional office of the Department of Health in Eastern Visayas (DOH-8) is not setting aside the possibility that the Omicron variant has already reached the region.

This will be confirmed once the samples sent by the regional agency to the Philippine Genome Center arrive next week or in the first week of February.

DOH-8 sent 90 samples to the PGC that were taken from areas with clustering of cases.

The regional Health department “continues to strongly encourage the remaining unvaccinated yet eligible individuals, especially our senior citizens, those with comorbidities, and children to get vaccinated and boosted immediately.”

“Vaccines are still our best defense against COVID-19 and its variants and have proven to be safe, effective, and free," it said in a statement.

The public is reminded to do self-isolation at the earliest signs of symptoms and to follow all the health protocols set by authorities to prevent further transmission of the coronavirus in Eastern Visayas.

"Let us guard against COVID-19 and its variants and be responsible not only for your welfare and health but also for your family and community," it added.

Since it was first recorded, the region now has a total of 56,539 confirmed COVID-19 cases with total recoveries at 52,196 and total deaths at 633.