By Jennifer P. Rendon and John Noel E. Herrera
Nine more high students from Estancia, Iloilo were found positive for Covid-19 in a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) conducted on Thursday, June 8.
Dr. Maria Socorro Colmenares-Quiñon, chief of the Iloilo Provincial Health Office, said Friday that 42 high school students were made to undergo RAT after their classmate was infected by Covid-19.
The first case was confined at Jesus Colmenares District Hospital in Balasan town. She displayed symptoms of Covid-19 symptoms and tested positive in a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
She was already discharged from confinement a few days ago.
“Isa ni sila ka classroom and close contact ni sila sang isa ka na-admit sa Jesus M. Colmenares District Hospital. So, since close contact sila, gin isolate na ni sila,” Quiñon said.
After her result came out, her 42 classmates were isolated to the town’s quarantine facility.
Thirty-five of them were fully vaccinated, three had received their first dose, three are not vaccinated and one already had a booster shot.
Of the nine who tested positive, seven are symptomatic.
For those who were vaccinated, they will be made to undergo a 7-day quarantine period while 10 days would be required for unvaccinated students.
“The nine were isolated and placed in the quarantine facility of the LGU (Estancia), while the others were brought home and monitored for onset of signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Kung fully vaccinated sila (nine infected), they will be isolated for seven days, then kung wala nakapabakuna amu na i-extend sa 10 days,” she added.
Meanwhile, she said the students would no longer be made to undergo an RT-PCR test since all of them don’t belong to the A1 category (frontline workers like doctors, medical officers, nurses, and other workers in hospitals and clinics), A2 category (senior citizens), and A3 category (persons with comorbidities).
Quiñon said that the 33 students were already sent home but are being closely monitored by the municipal health office of Estancia.
“They were told to still wear masks, do frequent hand washing, and practice physical distancing, especially in the presence of senior citizens and immuno-compromised individuals,” she said.
As this developed, Quiñon asked the public not to be complacent.
“If you have signs and symptoms, please isolate,” she said.
The usual practices of wearing masks, hand washing, and physical distancing are also encouraged to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Indi kita mag complacent nga wala na so COVID-19. Amu man sagihapon nga kung may signs and symptoms, mag-isolate na lang… Hindi na magsulod sa eskwelahan, or else ma-compromise man ang bilog nga classroom. Maintain lang gid and continue ang pag-usar sang masks, frequent handwashing and pag social distancing,” she reminded the public.