As Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases continue to rise in Eastern Visayas, mortalities from the dreaded virus were recorded.

The Department of Health – Eastern Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH-EV CHD) confirms the death of the confirmed COVID-19 patients EV-238, EV-255, and EV-382. This brings the total number of mortalities in the region to three (3).

The first COVID-19 death was recorded in Kawayan, Biliran, a 65 year-old, male, and a resident of Brgy. Inasuyan, Kawayan, Biliran. He is a Locally Stranded Individual (LSI) from Manila who arrived in their hometown last June 11, 2020 via a private van together with five (5) other family members. Swab samples were taken on June 14, 2020 along with his family and he was tested positive for COVID-19. He was tagged as Patient EV- 255.  He has existing medical conditions such as hypertension, congestive heart failure and diabetes mellitus. Patient EV-255 died on the same date when the swab samples were taken and was diagnosed with Acute Respiratory Distress, Diabetes Mellitus type II and Uncontrolled Cardiovascular Disease. Per validation and review by the mortality review committee, it is COVID-19 related death.

The second recorded death of a confirmed COVID-19 case is Patient EV-382 from Brgy. Aguiting, Sitio Madapao, Kananga, Leyte. He is a 47-year-old, male, and a Locally Stranded Individual (LSI) who arrived from Cebu on June 15, 2020. The following day, while he was in their staff house in Ormoc City, he complained of severe chest pain hence, was brought to OSPA Hospital. Swab samples were taken on June 17, 2020, and tested positive for COVID-19 on June 20, 2020. He was then transferred to City Unified Hospital (CUH) in Ormoc City. While he was in the said hospital, his condition worsened and was hooked to a mechanical ventilator. However, on June 24, 2020 EV-382 died due to severe pneumonia secondary to COVID-19 and acute myocardial infarction. As per contact tracing and investigation, patient EV-382 has no contact with anyone from Kananga, Leyte.

The third COVID-19 mortality in the region is Patient EV-238, an 80-year-old, female, a local resident from Brgy. Poblacion, Tarangan, Samar. She was confirmed with COVID-19 last June 16, 2020 and was immediately isolated in Samar Provincial Hospital. Due to her existing medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma, the patient was referred to Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) on June 20, 2020. Her condition progressed and became severe. She passed away on June 24, 2020 with a diagnosis of multi-factorial shock such as cardiogenic shock, septic shock from community acquired pneumonia (high risk) and acute kidney failure. This is the first local transmission COVID-19 death in the region.

“Our three (3) mortalities have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and cardiac diseases, making them extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. The concerned Local Government Unit (LGU) of the COVID-19 fatalities followed meticulously the protocols on handling of human remains to prevent contamination and transmission of the virus. Again, we reiterate that the best way to protect ourselves and the vulnerable group from this disease is to stay at home, keep yourself healthy and practice the general preventive measures such as wearing of mask, frequent hand washing, practicing cough etiquette and social distancing,” Regional Director Molon appealed.