DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 March) — A 21-year old Filipina who came from the United Kingdom is the first confirmed case of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Davao region and the second in Mindanao.
Laboratory findings from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Manila showed she tested positive for the disease, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao confirmed on Sunday.
Nationwide, the DOH recorded 140 confirmed cases as of Sunday noon, from 111 as of 9 p.m. Saturday.
The DOH-Davao made the announcement shortly after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon jointly issued a statement that they would enforce a “partial lockdown on all our entry and exit points” starting at 7 p.m. on Sunday.
No other details about the “partial lockdown” were given but their joint statement stated that individual Executive Orders would follow. Earlier on Sunday, Mayor Duterte placed the city on “community quarantine,” which she described as a step away to lockdown.
From UK to Manila via Doha, then Davao
Identified as PH130 or Patient 130, the patient traveled from the United Kingdom to Manila with a layover in Doha, Qatar then to Davao on February 29, 2020.
The patient was placed in isolation on March 9 in a local health facility after seeking consultation due to cough. The following day, she was transferred and admitted for isolation and testing at the state-run Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in Tagum City.
The DOH-Davao said the patient is in stable condition, and assured the public that “all necessary containment measures are being implemented to prevent local transmission of the virus.”
The DOH is now closely coordinating with concerned local government unit and DRMC “where the patient is admitted, for concerted actions on identifying persons who had interaction with the confirmed case, strengthening infection prevention and control protocols and for further developments arising from this health event.”
It added the Contact Tracing Team of the agency is coordinating with the City Government of Tagum, and that those persons whom the patient had interacted with would be checked.
In the statement, DOH-Davao regional director Annabelle P. Yumang called for cooperation of those individuals to “provide necessary information for proper management and facilitation.”
“Being personally responsible in order to control COVID-19 is an essential action in this challenging situation,” Yumang added.
The DOH-Davao has listed a total of 50 persons under investigation in the region. Of these, 29 have been discharged while 21 others are currently confined in DRMC and Southern Philippines Medical Center.
“We assure the public that the Department of Health is on top of the situation. We have activated our Incident Command System and Rapid Response Team for appropriate management, including increased infection control, case management, and containment to prevent the spread of the virus,” Yumang said.
Yumang urged the public to stay calm and remain vigilant at all times, encouraging them to continue to practice proper handwashing, social distancing, and cough etiquette.
“We also appeal to everyone to refrain from sharing unverified information and obtain information only from verified sources such as the Department of Health official website and social media accounts. Let us continue doing our part in containing the disease,” Yumang said.
Mindanao’s first COVID-19 case, Patient 40, a 54-year old male from Lanao del Sur who moved to Metro Manila for refuge during the 2017 Marawi Siege and who recently returned, was admitted at the Adventist Medical Center in Iligan City on March 3 and transferred to the NMMC in Cagayan de Oro City on March 8. He passed away on Friday evening, March 13. (Antonio L. Colina IV. / MindaNews)