SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) repeated its call for the strict observance of health safety measures in this Freeport after it recorded the first positive cases of COVID-19 infection here on Tuesday.
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said in a statement that two residents of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone had contracted the virus, breaking the COVID-free status that Subic had zealously maintained in the last four months of the quarantine.
By July 14, however, six more cases were known, as results from the SBMA-Red Cross testing laboratory came in, Eisma said.
“While there has been no recorded local transmission of COVID-19 in the Freeport, we have now two residents who have tested positive of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the infection,” Eisma said in a statement.
She disclosed that the first patient, a 22-year old female, had a visitor from Manila recently, while the second patient, a 42-year old male, works in Laguna and simply comes back to Subic on weekends.
“Both are asymptomatic and in self-quarantine pending their transfer to an isolation and care facility,” she added.
On the other hand, Eisma said the six other cases “are just visitors in the Freeport, who were tested at the SBMA-PRC testing facility.” Two had reportedly left the Freeport before their swab test results came out, while the other four are being quarantined in Subic.
According to records, the six new cases are all female. The first two, aged 40 and 45, are residents of one address in Quezon City; the third is a 67-year old from Palauig, Zambales; while the rest, aged 46, 17 and 14, are all residents of one address in Subic, Zambales.
In the same statement, Eisma said that she had also gone into voluntary quarantine as a precautionary measure after attending the commissioning ceremony of BRP Jose Rizal, the country’s first missile frigate, here at the Alava Pier last Friday.
Eisma said she was informed that one of the Philippine Navy officials present in the ceremony had recently test positive for COVID-19.
Eisma noted that all the reported positive cases in Subic seemed to be imported, as six of them involved visitors to the Freeport while the first resident had a visitor from Manila and the other had history of travel to Laguna.
“So we’re confident that there is still no community transmission here in Subic and we want to keep it that way,” she added.
She said that the SBMA is doing all necessary contact tracing and other safety procedures like disinfection of public facilities and offices “to ensure the continued safety of all.”
“While this may be the price of economic revival when we have to open our gates to help heal the economy, it becomes clearer that our only road out of this crisis is eternal vigilance and mutual responsibility,” Eisma said in her statement.
“I reiterate my call for vigilance and strict adherence to established health and safety protocols,” Eisma also told Subic stakeholders. “We need your support now, more than ever, as we can overcome this pandemic only if we are stronger together.”