Cotabato governor tests negative for COVID-19

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 23 March) — Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco announced Monday that she tested free of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In her radio and television program “Masaganang North Cotabato,” Catamco said she underwent a voluntary self-quarantine after interacting with some national government officials during her recent trip to Metro Manila.

The governor said that Dr. Eva Rabaya, head of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), advised her to go on a self-quarantine and to take the COVID-19 test.

“I am thankful that I tested negative, and those national officials whom I was exposed to also tested negative for COVID-19,” she said.

Clarifying reports, Catamco stressed she had no contact with Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, who recently admitted that he tested positive for COVID-19.

She said she interacted only with Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, who both tested negative of the virus.

Catamco’s result from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City came out Monday, March 23.

Meantime, other local government officials who are still undergoing home quarantine include Kidapawan City Mayor Joseph Evangelista and Makilala Mayor Armando Quibod. They recently travelled to Metro Manila.

Both will end their 14-day quarantine this week.

Lawyer Jose Paolo Evangelista, Kidapawan City information officer, said his father doesn’t manifest any flu-like symptoms.

Starting March 21, the provincial and the local government units — through the Department of the Interior and Local Government offices — distributed quarantine ID passes to residents, for trucks supplying basic consumer goods, media personnel and to government employees.

The “enhanced community quarantine” took effect in Kidapawan City on Monday, March 23, until April 6.

The entire Cotabato province has been placed under a “pre-emptive lockdown” since March 19.