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State of calamity declared in Catanduanes as cholera suspects mount to 3390

LEGAZPI CITY – The Provincial Government of Catanduanes has declared a province-wide state of calamity after 19 deaths were reported in the past one week out of the 3,390 identified cases of possible cholera.

Most of the patients suffering from diarrhea with various degree of dehydration are confined at the Inter-Bicol Medical Center of Catanduanes in the Capital town of Virac.

Eight fatalities have been reported in Virac, 6 in San Andres, 3 in Pandan and 1 in Viga

Catanduanes Governor Joseph Cua said on Tuesday, (June 19) that their health works have focused on chlorinization of suspect water sources in the capital town of Virac, and the three towns of San Andres, Pandan and Viga where the epidemic reportedly started.

Cua said that to prevent further spread of the epidemic, potable water in containers have to be rationed in affected localities.

In a radio-link broadcast in Legazpi City over DZGB, Catanduanes assistant provincial health officer Hazel Palmes admitted that drinking water source in many rural areas in the island province are unsafe for drinking, coming mostly from open wells and creeks.

According to Palmes, patients are being confined to the Medical Center of Catanduanes in Virac at the rate of 20 per day since last week.

The Department of Health (DOH) regional office also reported that of the 3,390 cases, about 1,689 cases of diarrhea are in other towns, aside from Virac.

At least two sources of water in Virac have tested positvive for Cholera bacteria, the DOH reported.

In May this year, severe diarrhea cases have also been reported in the towns of Nabua, Baao Camarines Sur province and 4 villages in 0as, Albay, before the reported epidemic outbreak in Catanduanes province. (SONNY SALES)