(File photo)

DUMAGUETE CITY – The Department of Health (DOH) - Negros Oriental has recorded an increase in dengue cases in the province since early May amid the onset of the rainy season, the easing of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) restrictions, and the opening of borders.

In an interview, DOH-Negros Oriental provincial officer Jennifer Remollo attributed the rise in dengue cases to lesser movement restrictions due to the pandemic.

“People are now starting to get out of their homes compared to the past two years or so where the majority had to stay indoors due to the pandemic,” Remollo said in mixed English and Cebuano.

In the more than two years of the health crisis, the province recorded zero dengue deaths and a very low number of cases.

This year, however, two deaths have been reported – one in February and another in April, she said.

Based on the latest weekly monitoring report on May 28, Negros Oriental has logged 342 cases and two deaths from January to May, marking a 13 percent increase from the 303 cases and zero deaths recorded in the same period last year.

Canlaon City topped the list of the 10 local government units (LGUs) with the highest number of dengue cases with 64; followed by Dumaguete City with 39 and one death; Bayawan City, 29 and one death; Bais City, 29; Guihulngan City, Sta. Catalina, and Sibulan, 22 each; Tanjay City, 15; Dauin, 11; and Siaton, nine.

The rest of the LGUs had less than nine cases each.

Remollo reiterated her appeal to the people to take the necessary measures to ensure that their surroundings are clean to prevent dengue-carrying mosquitoes from breeding.

She also called on residents to consult a doctor immediately at the onset of symptoms, noting that some people are wary of going to the clinic or the hospital, fearing they might be diagnosed with Covid-19.

The DOH here has distributed dengue test kits to the LGUs to help combat the disease, she added. (PNA)