Mayor Sara confirms community transmission of COVID-19

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 31 March) – There has been a community transmission of the highly contagious coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among residents of Davao City, Mayor Sara Duterte confirmed on Monday.

A huge signage along Davao City’s Diversion Road reminds the public to stay home under the city’s community quarantine guidelines on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). MindaNews file photo by MANMAN DEJETO

In her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) 87.5 on Monday, Duterte said she saw the need to extend the “travel ban” to and from the city as the local authorities are still tracking down the people who have manifested the signs and symptoms of the infection after attending a derby from March 6 to 13 where a patient suspected to have been infected had attended.

“We need to extend air travel ban to and from Davao City because we are tracking down, through our contact tracing, those who have been infected inside the cockpit. Many of them got sick. But, remember their 14th day was last Friday, so supposedly their isolation had ended,” she said.

The mayor said many of the confirmed cases in the city had no travel history to Manila, and were believed to have acquired the infection through their exposure to infected individuals.

“We have confirmed community transmission here, those who have no travel history and acquired the infection here. We have cases like that here already,” she said.

Duterte reminded the people to stay at home to prevent getting infected with COVID-19, but those who must go out are reminded to observe a physical distance of three meters from other people, wash hands with soap and water, and wear the prescribed masks.

The Department of Health (DOH)-Davao reported on Tuesday that the region has 50 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Of the total, 41 are from Davao City, four from Davao del Norte, two from Davao del Sur, one from Davao de Oro, and two from Davao Oriental.

The agency also recorded that five patients recovered and six succumbed to COVID-19.

As of Monday, the total number of cases in the country was at 1,546.

In Agusan del Sur, the Provincial COVID-19 Task Force is calling on residents in the province who attended the Davao City cockfight derby to report to them and submit to formal quarantine procedures.

At the forum during the KBP Hour weekly program on March 27, Gov. Santi Cane Jr. admitted he is still clueless on the identity of those local cockfighting aficionados who went to the derby in Davao as he asked them to present themselves to the medical workers of the Provincial COVID-19 Task Force for documentation and close monitoring while under quarantine.

Alfredo Plaza, provincial public information officer and spokesperson of the task Force, said the governor had also asked police officers during a meeting to help locate the derby attendees.  (Antonio L. Colina IV, with reports from Chris V. Panganiban / MindaNews)