NEGROS Occidental recorded its first confirmed local transmission of coronavirus on July 3, as confirmed by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson.
"Yes, We have patient number 105, a frontliner (PDRRMO) who would drive for locally stranded individuals and overseas Filipino workers," Lacson said.
The governor said contract tracing is ongoing, and "if swabbed positive, then we can say local transmission has increased."
"This is an unfortunate incident where a frontliner, in the course of doing his job, got infected," he said.
Patient 105 is a 47-year-old male ambulance driver of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO).
The ambulance driver was in charge of transporting coronavirus-positive overseas Filipino workers from their hotels to provincial quarantine facilities.
He and four more locally stranded individuals who arrived in Negros Occidental tested positive for coronavirus, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on July 3.
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said 15 members of the Emergency Response Unit of the Negros Occidental have been quarantined, including the six members of the Philippine Coast Guard who are also part of the team.
Lacson clarified that the driver was wearing his PPE and is asymptomatic.
The five new positive cases on Friday brings to 109 the number of Covid-19 positive cases in Negros Occidental, with no deaths, DOH records show.
The patient has been quarantined at the E.B. Magalona Healing Center, while the other members of the Emergency Response Team who came in close contact with him have been quarantined since Friday at the Mambukal Resort in Murcia.
Diaz said the driver's family will be swabbed for Reverse Transcription- Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests for Covid-19.
Murcia Mayor Gerry Rojas, in an executive order on Friday, ordered the lockdown of 120 houses in Purok New Site, Barangay Minoyan after the driver, who is a resident of the area, was tested positive for coronavirus.
Lacson also said that there is no cause for Negrenses to panic.
"We need the residents in these areas to cooperate and stay home. It will not help if we panic and there is no reason to do so," he said.