DAVAO CITY(MindaNews / 21 March) — The Department of Health has confirmed that a husband and wife are the first two cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Davao City, bringing to three the total number of confirmed cases in Davao Region and six the total in Mindanao.
According to the report released by the Department of Health’s (DOH) Davao Center for Health Deveopment at 8 p.m. on Sunday, PH262, husband and PH263, wife, both aged 47, arrived in Davao City from Manila on March 6.
The DOH-Davao report said the wife started manifesting symptoms of COVID-19 such as colds and body malaise on March 9 while the husband developed the symptoms on March 13.
Medical experts from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) collected the specimen from the two patients on March 13, and immediately sent these to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Manila.
As of Sunday, the DOH-Davao said the “two patients are now asymptomatic, and are on strict home quarantine.”
It said the patients would undergo re-testing. To declare them free of the infection, at least two negative test results that are “48 hours apart should be done before the patients will be cleared of COVID-19.”
The two patients are among 77 new cases in the country, which now has a total of 307 COVID-19 cases.
Mindanao has four confirmed cases, two of them dead (PH 40 at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro City on March 13 and PH 201 at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City on March 17) and two recovering (PH 130 in the Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in Tagum City, Davao del Norte and PH 145 at the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center in Cotabato City).
PH130, the first COVID-19 case in the Davao region and the second Mindanao, is currently confined at DRMC in Tagum City. She was placed in isolation on March 9, 2020 at a local health facility after seeking consultation due to cough. The following day, she was transferred and admitted for isolation and testing at the Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC).
Identified as PH130, the 21-year old patient, a resident of Pantukan in Davao de Oro, traveled from the United Kingdom with a layover via Doha, Qatar to Manila then to Davao on February 29, 2020 via Philippine Airlines.
Davao region’s five provinces, six cities, and 43 municipalities have been placed on 14-day lockdown and suspension of land, sea, and air travels since 12:01 a.m. of March 19 to help contain the spread of the highly contagious disease.
The Davao Region COVID=-19 Task Force created on March 17, is led by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, who has been designated as chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) and Regional Development Council (RDC).
Duterte urged the people to remain calm, reiterating that they should stay inside their home, strictly adhere to the hygiene and sanitation practices like frequent hand washing, observe social distancing, and avoid unnecessary trips outside.
The DOH-Davao added that two of the four patients under investigation (PUI) who died tested negative for COVID-19 infection.
Results of the laboratory tests showed that the 71-year old PUI from Matanao, Davao del Sur died of septic shock secondary to perforated peptic ulcer on March 15 in SPMC while the other deceased PUI was 68-year old Korean national from Panabo, Davao del Norte who died on March 17.
The DOH-Davao has yet to receive results of the RITM tests on the two other deceased PUIs. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)