NEGROS Occidental Provincial Health Officer Dr. Ernel Tumimbang and other medical workers in the province have tested positive for coronavirus.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said aside from Tumimbang, medical technologists and encoders at the Provincial Molecular Laboratory of the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City were also hit by the virus.
This is the reason why there was a slowdown in the release of the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results in the past few days, Lacson said.
Some of the swab samples are now being tested at the second provincial laboratory in Valladolid town, he added.
Also, 17 nurses and utility personnel of Ignacio Arroyo Sr. Memorial District Hospital in Isabela were earlier infected with the virus and are now at the Provincial Quarantine and Healing Center at provincial-government run Mambukal Mountain Resort in Murcia.
"We are hit hard by the Delta variant. Let us do our share. Avoid getting sick," Lacson told Negrenses.
Based on the current data, the governor said the active Covid-19 cases in the province could reach 4,000 this month.
As of Tuesday, September 28, Negros Occidental already has 3,868 active cases, he said.
"The spread of the virus is very fast, reaching almost triple this month and that made us conclude that the Delta variant is hitting the province," Lacson said.
The province's top official added that contact tracing and treatment continue.
"We should take the available vaccines especially for senior citizens because it shows that most of those who died were unvaccinated," Lacson pointed out, assuring that the province has enough logistics and that funds are good up to the end of this year.
"I already have instructions to make the medicines available because it's already getting scarce," he added.
Moreover, Lacson also said that the capacity of the Provincial Oxygen Plant in Silay City will be increased by utilizing the funds from the savings of the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Program.