Some 798 new cases of dengue were reported in Palawan in the first week of September, bringing the total number to 2,026 this year, the regional health department reported.
Cases of dengue in the province reached 1,228 as of August.
Al Patrick Aquino, Nurse III at the Department of Health’s (DOH) vector-borne disease unit, said Wednesday that Puerto Princesa City recorded 52 more cases, from previous 606, contributing the highest number of cases at 658 as of last week.
He said a high number of dengue cases was also reported in the municipalities of Taytay, Narra, Brooke’s Point, Bataraza, and El Nido.
Aquino said Puerto Princesa City reported seven dengue deaths, while Palawan province recorded eight, placing combined dengue deaths at 15.
The 15 dengue deaths in the province and the city represent half of the 29 mortality record of the Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) region, he said.
He noted that Puerto Princesa ranked first by morbidity week with 35 reported dengue cases in the first week of the month.
“Malamang po pataas pa rin yang mga cases dahil sa patuloy na pag-ulan (Cases may still rise due to continuous rains),” he said.
Aquino said DOH Mimaropa has already responded to the request for help of the City Health Office (CHO) by sending one unit of misting machine, chemicals, and 187 rolls of treated screens for public schools that posted high cases of the mosquito-borne disease.
He said the treated screens will be added to the existing 50 rolls in their provincial office.
“Ipa-prioritize natin ‘yong mga schools na may matataas na kaso sa Puerto Princesa. Nagpa-analyze din kami kung saang mga barangay ang matataas at ang pinaka mataas is Barangay San Pedro (We will prioritize schools that have high cases in Puerto Princesa City. We have conducted an analysis on where the highest cases are and it is in Barangay San Pedro),” he added.
Aquino further said the other nine barangays in the city in order of high dengue case contribution are San Jose, San Miguel, San Manuel, Tiniguiban, Bancao-Bancao, Sta. Monica, Sicsican, Mandaragat, and Tagburos.
Aquino said a team composed of five individuals from the DOH Mimaropa will visit these barangays to conduct misting operations.
He clarified that the misting operation is merely part of their “secondary prevention method” because what they are promoting is the “4S strategy.”
The 4S strategy refers to Search and destroy mosquito breeding places, Secure self-protection, Seek early consultation, and Support misting/spraying only in hotspot areas where an increase in dengue cases is registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent an impending outbreak.
“Ang priority ay ‘yong may mga matataas na kaso muna so maglilinis muna bago ang pagmi-misting na secondary prevention method lang dahil ang pino-promote natin talaga is ‘yong 4S talaga. I-intensify natin ang 4S bago tayo mag-misting. Maglilinis po muna tayo (The priority is to do it in areas with high cases so we will clean first before we do the misting operation which is merely the secondary prevention method since what we are promoting is the 4S. We will clean first),” he explained.
He reiterated that local government units (LGUs) in Palawan should strictly follow the 4S strategy to prevent the prevalence and spread of dengue.
Although Mimaropa is not generally the No. 1 region with high number of cases of the mosquito-borne disease, Aquino said: “right now it is on top of the list.” (Celeste Anna Formoso/PNA)