DUMAGUETE CITY – As the year draws to a close, the province of Negros Oriental has not recorded a single death due to dengue, which a key health official attributed largely to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Dr. Socrates Villamor, provincial chief of the Department of Health (DOH) here, in an interview Tuesday afternoon, said if 2021 ends without a single dengue death, it would be the first for Negros Oriental in so many years since he assumed his post.

Villamor believes the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions contributed substantially to the absence of dengue deaths and a low number of infections because the movement of people is limited.

“Children are usually the ones infected by dengue especially when they are at school and because of the pandemic, they are told to stay home,” he said.

He noted that usually, during the rainy season, dengue cases begin to climb, but current data show that this year’s figures are lower than last year's.

Records at the DOH office here show that 629 dengue cases were reported from January 1 to Nov. 6, 2021.

This is 73 percent lower compared to the 2,366 cases and four deaths during the same period of last year.

Dumaguete, the provincial capital, logged the highest number of dengue cases at 138.

Villamor is hopeful that the current trend in dengue cases will continue until the end of the year. (PNA)