Public told to obey protocols as JN.1 strain claims 4 lives in Iloilo

Iloilo Provincial Health Office (IPHO) chief Dr. Maria Socorro Quiñon
Iloilo Provincial Health Office (IPHO) chief Dr. Maria Socorro Quiñon(PNA)

THE Iloilo Provincial Health Office (IPHO) has reminded the public to continue observing health protocols as the new strain of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) claimed four lives in Iloilo.

IPHO chief Dr. Maria Socorro Quiñon, on Thursday afternoon, January 18, 2024, said the province posted 88 of the contagious JN.1 variant, with four deaths in three months based on the Department of Health (DOH) Western Visayas records.

“The four deaths were all immune-compromised. The oldest death was 87 years old, and the youngest was less than a year old. The two others in their adult stage have underlying conditions,” she said in a media interview.

The cases, she said, were recorded from November 2023 until January this year.

Quiñon added that it has been observed lately that people were suffering from flu-like symptoms. However, it was not immediately known if it was a new strain of Covid-19 because of limited testing.

The health officer said the new strain of Covid-19 is contagious, hence this festival season, the public is encouraged to wear masks, always disinfect, and observe physical distancing, especially the senior citizens, immune-compromised, and even children who still have weak immune systems.

“If possible, don’t get exposed in crowded areas and enclosed spaces,” she said.

As of Jan. 18, the province has 300 active Covid-19 cases spread in its 42 municipalities and one component city.

Of the total cases, 190 were admitted, 44 asymptomatic and 66 symptomatic are on home quarantine.


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