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Gov declares 2 Quezon towns COVID -19 free, local health chief says its not

By Gemi Formaran
May 8, 2020

Gov. Suarez, Dr. Santiago

LUCENA CITY - The Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) maintains its position that the two Quezon towns which were named by the provincial chief executive to be zero coronavirus desease (COVID-19) has confirmed cases of the respiratory desease.

IPHO chief, Dr. Grace Santiago clarified that Candelaria, Quezon has 6 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 1 death and 2 recoveries. She said the three patients are presently admitted in different medical facilities.

While Sariaya, Quezon has 3 confirmed cases, one of them died while the two have recovered.

Santiago made the clarification to rectify the statement issued by Quezon Governor Danilo Suarez declaring the two towns as "Zero COVID".

"Zero COVID na po ang Candelaria. At ngayon, zero COVID na din ang Sariaya", said the governor during a relief operation as he expressed gratitude to a number of health workers and frontliners.

The video footage which was posted and still circulating on social media has brought confusion to many netizens due to conficting figures with that of the announcement posted on the Facebook account of the Quezon Public Information Office (QPIO) citing reports from IPHO.


The latest QPIO announcement says Quezon province has 72 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The figures were devided to 2 cities and 14 towns including Candelaria and Sariaya.

Candelaria has 6 confirmed cases with 1 death and 2 recoveries while Sariaya has 3 cases with 1 death and 2 recoveries.

"The figures clearly show that the two towns are not yet zero COVID", said Santiago over the phone.

She said even Sariaya cannot be considered zero COVID even with the death and recoveries of the three COVID-19 carriers because it has 58 suspected cases, 54 of them still waiting for swab test.

Santiago explained that the governor might have been given wrong information by his staff or might have overheard it as the local chief executive has hearing problems.

"All of us in the provincial government especially Gov. Suarez and his staff have been so busy and tired because of the pandemic and there are times that miscommunications indeed happen", said Santiago.

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