SWAB COLLECTION. A health worker collects swab samples from a locally stranded individual who returned to Kananga, Leyte in this Aug. 1, 2020 photo. The Department of Health on Saturday (Jan. 23, 2021) reported 34 new Covid-19 recoveries in Eastern Visayas, bringing the region's total number of recoveries to 12,188. (Photo courtesy of Kananga local government)

TACLOBAN CITY – The number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) recoveries in Eastern Visayas has reached 12,188, as 34 more patients recovered from the disease as of Saturday.

In its latest case bulletin, the Department of Health (DOH) said this brings the region’s Covid-19 recovery rate to 90.89 percent.

Meanwhile, 111 new cases were also recorded, bringing the region’s total number of Covid-19 cases to 13,410.

The number includes 62 new cases in Leyte, 11 in Samar, 10 in Eastern Samar, five in Southern Leyte, and one in Northern Samar, while the cities of Tacloban and Ormoc, have eight and 14, respectively.

They are part of the 1,188 laboratory results from the Eastern Visayas Regional Covid-19 Testing Center and Divine Word Virology Laboratory both in this city, and Ormoc City Molecular Diagnostic Center.

The DOH attributed the high recovery rate to the high percentage of asymptomatic and mild cases at 98.6 percent. The rest are severe and critical cases.

To date, the region has 1,052 active cases, while 170 patients have died due to complications, mostly senior citizens and persons with comorbidities.

“The region ranked third nationwide in terms of active cases, so we urge the public to remain vigilant and strictly observe the minimum health standards. We also advise those symptoms to get tested immediately for proper management and avoid the spread among family members,” DOH Eastern Visayas director Dr. Exuperia Sabalberino said in a virtual presser on Friday.

The DOH regional office reiterated its information drive dubbed “BIDA Solusyon”, which promotes four key behaviors to reduce the possible transmission of the virus.

BIDA stands for Bawal walang mask (Not wearing a face mask is not allowed); I-sanitize ang mga kamay at iwas hawak sa mga bagay (Sanitize your hands and avoid touching surfaces); Dumistansya ng isang metro (Keep a one-meter distance from other people); and Alamin ang totoong impormasyon (Know the factual information).

The DOH also urged the public to support the country’s vaccination program against Covid-19. (PNA)