PALO, LEYTE – Deaths due to complications arising from Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, despite the already high prevailing rate of vaccination in the region. 

Latest report from the regional office of the Department of Health in Eastern Visayas (DOH-8) issued on Monday (Feb. 27) shows one death of a COVID-19 infected patient – a 39-year-old male from Jaro, Leyte who died on February 21, 2023.

This brings to four the number of COVID-19 casualties in the region since January and to 693 the total deaths since the first case infection in the region was reported in 2020.

Jelyn Lopez, DOH regional information officer, says the latest casualty was not vaccinated against COVID-19. “He was tested positive for COVID-19 after being hospitalized for other reasons,” Lopez said.

COVID-19 cases in Eastern Visayas remain low with only six cases recorded from February 20 to 27, 2023 out of 633 laboratory samples tested in four COVID-19 laboratories in the region. As of February 27, there were only five active cases in the region with no severe and critical cases admitted in the hospitals.

Records from DOH-8 show that 2,880,573 individuals or 86.2% of the target population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 while 556,238 individuals have already received their booster shots. On the other hand, 70.5% of the target A2 population has already received their primary series.

Despite the downgraded Alert Level status and the gradual decline of our COVID-19 cases in the region, DOH-8 advises the public to continue to be vigilant and practice the minimum public health standards in all settings.

The health department also reminded the public that intensified vaccination roll out against COVID-19 is still being conducted all over the region. “Vaccines are still our best defense against the virus and its variants. Get vaccinated and boosted for a strengthened community protection,” it said. By Elmer Recuerdo (EV Mail Feb. 27-March 5, 2023 issue)