STO. TOMAS CITY – Cases of the deadly coronavirus this province is still precariously rising.
And the provincial health office is not letting its guards down. It issues daily reminders to every Batangueño to strictly follow minimum health standards like physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing of facemask when going out of the house.
To stress the importance of health protocols in all towns and cities in Batangas province, non-compliance is meted with actual penalties or imprisonment of eight to 10 days.
Cockfighting aficionados caught holding illegal “tupadas” recently and breaking social distancing protocol were slapped with hefty fines, ranging between P25,000 to P35,000.
In this city alone, around a hundred people not wearing facemasks were rounded up and meted with eight days of incarceration.
This was if only to show violators and others that COVID-19 protocols are as real as the growing number of cases of the killer disease daily.
Of this writing, the whole province of Batangas had 806 confirmed cases, with 332 recoveries and 42 deaths. Admitted or active cases were 432.
Biggest Single-Day Spike
So far, the biggest single-day spike in the province was recorded last Tuesday, July 21. There were 75 confirmed cases registered by the PHO that suddenly pushed provincial count to 731.
The second-class municipality of Ibaan claimed the lion’s share of 32 confirmed cases that day. Located 96 kilometers south of Manila, Ibaan has a population of 52,970 people according to the 2015 census.
That day, Batangas City recorded the second-highest number of coronavirus disease cases with 15, followed by Lipa City with 5, Tanauan City and San Juan, with 4 each, while Calaca and Sto. Tomas City, had 3 each.
On that same day, Sto. Tomas’ local disaster risk reduction management council office was ready to remove restrictive barriers of the city’s public market but it was instantly called off after the news on the big spike in cases reached its office.
Neighboring town of Malvar had two positive cases, and so did Calatagan town.
Other towns such as Balete, Bauan, Nasugbu, San Jose, and San Luis had one new case each.
Recoveries Catching Up
While positive cases are going up, the number of recoveries from the virus are also going into that direction and is not far behind.
At present, the province already gave out clean bills of health to exactly 332 COVID-19 survivors even as 42 fatefully succumbed to the deadly disease since the outbreak of the virus began in March.
Ten recoveries were recorded on the same day with San Jose leading with seven survivors. The towns of Laurel, Rosario and San Pascual had one recovery each.
Up The Number Goes
But the anxiety from COVID-19 among Batangueños rose even more on the following day, July 22, as 39 more patients registered positive of COVID-19 confirmed cases.
Last Thursday, July 23, Batangas City still had a high report of 21 confirmed cases compared to previous weeks that never topped the count of 20.
Water Quality Monitoring
As additional health precaution in the middle of the pandemic, the Provincial Government-Environment and Natural Resources Office (PG-ENRO) is also conducting water monitoring tests in select areas.
Among these was Taal Lake and its river tributaries that washes out to the Pansipit River that empties off to Balayan Bay.
Pansipit River and other waterways along the towns of Lemery, Taal, San Nicolas, Laurel, Agoncillo, Talisay, Cuenca, Mataas na Kahoy, Alitagtag, Sta. Teresita, and Balete, and Tanauan and Lipa cities were scheduled for checking, too.
The water quality monitoring was intended to hold off fish kills that could render an imbalance in food supply and business.
In The Pipeline
Meanwhile, distribution of educational cash assistance among provincial scholars amid the pandemic is ongoing back-to-back with other relief operations, as directed by Gov. Hermilando Mandanas.
Construction of an isolation building is also ongoing at the Lobo District Hospital in the municipality of Lobo funded by a Bayanihan Grant to Province-IRA through the efforts of Governor Mandanas and Vice Gov. Mark Leviste.
There are many other projects in the pipeline.
Stressed Over COVID-19
According to the latest results of a Social Weather Station survey released last Saturday, July 25, a large majority of Filipinos continue to experience significant stress during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
The SWS said that based on a mobile phone survey conducted between July 3 to 6, the COVID-19 crisis brought “great stress” to 51 percent of Filipino adults and “much stress” to another 35 percent.
The remaining 14 percent felt either little or no stress.
A total of 1,555 adult Filipinos participated nationwide in the SWS survey through mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing, including 306 in Metro Manila, 451 in the rest of Luzon, 388 in the Visayas, and 410 in Mindanao. (via/OY Batangas)
Photos: Latest COVID-19 cases in Batangas, (2) Financial assistance distribution to provincial scholars, (3) Water quality testing, (4) Lobo isolation building under construction.