Mindanao’s 4 confirmed COVID-19 cases: 2 dead, 2 recovering; 8 PUI deaths await lab test results

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 21 March) – Mindanao has four confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of March 20, two of them dead while the two others are reportedly recovering.

Three of the four are males, all from Lanao del Sur. The lone female, the youngest among the four, is from Davao de Oro.

At least eight persons under investigation (PUIs) — three in the Davao region, three in Northern Mindanao and two in Region 12 —  died while awaiting the release of results from their laboratory tests sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Manila to determine if they tested positive for COVID-19.

Nationwide, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases was 202 on Wednesday, March 18, according to Case Bulletin No. 004 issued by the Department of Health (DOH).  The figure rose to 217 on Thursday, March 19 and 230 as of 12 noon on Friday, March 20.

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Illustration courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

But Mindanao’s 27 provinces and 33 cities are bracing for more possible cases with the deluge of potential virus carriers not only from among the 215 Mindanawons who attended a Tabligh gathering in Malaysia two weeks ago but also from thousands of Mindanawons in Metro Manila who rushed home after President Rodrigo Duterte announced on March 12 a lockdown in the national capital and banned travel to and from Metro Manila by land, sea and air effective March 15. (see other story)

Mindanao: 436 PUIs and 16,988 PUMs for COVID-19; surge due to arrivals from Metro Manila

The DOH’s Bulletin 004 confirmed that the person under investigation (PUI) who died at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City at 6:41 a.m. on March 17, tested positive for COVID-19, according to the lab test result released by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Manila on March 18.

The two COVID-19 cases who expired from acute respiratory disease syndrome (ARDS) secondary to COVID-19 were PH 40 and PH 201, both from Lanao del Sur and both in their 50s.

The two, according to MindaNews sources in Lanao del Sur, were Ulama (plural for Aleem), one of whom was reported to have attended the Tabligh gathering in Sri Petaling, Selangor, Malaysia on February 27 to March 1.

Burying the PUI from Marawi. Photo courtesy of Jane usudan/DOH-BARMM

The gathering attracted some 16,000 participants from Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia including the Philippines, and has been traced as one of the sources of COVID-19 infection in the region.

The two other COVID-19 cases who are recovering are PH 130 and PH 145, who are in their 20s and 30s.

Mindanao COVID-19 Case 1 (MCC1)

PH 40.  Male, 58, Filipino. From Lanao del Sur. He declared no history of travel. Onset of symptoms on 24 February 2020. Admitted at Adventist Medical Center in Iligan City on March 3, 2020, transferred to Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro City on March 8. Expired evening of March 13. Cause of Death: Acute Respiratory Disease Syndrome (ARDS) secondary to COVID-19. Lab test confirmed positive for COVID-19 on 15 March.

PH 40 was among thousands of victims of the Marawi Siege who sought refuge in Manila and returned home recently before he was admitted in the Iligan hospital.

Mindanao COVID-19 Case 2 (MCC2)

PH 130. Female, 21, Filipino. From Davao de Oro. With travel history (United Kingdom to Davao via Doha in Qatar and Manila). Symptoms felt March 3, 2020. Admitted at the Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City on March 10, 2020.  Lab test confirmed positive for COVID-19 on 15 March 2020. Tagged “in stable condition” by DOH-Davao.

Mindanao COVID-19 Case 3 (MCC3)

PH145.  Male, 32. Filipino. From Lanao del Sur. Confined at the Cotabato Regional Medical Center in Cotabato City. Traveled to Malaysia. Reportedly recovering. Recovering, according to Arjohn Gangoso, DOH-12 health education and promotion officer,

PH 145, according to the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, attended the Tabligh gathering in Malaysia, along with PH 201.

Mindanao COVID-19 Case 4 (MCC4)

PH201. Male, 58, Filipino. From Lanao del Sur. Traveled to Malaysia. Admitted at Amai Pakpak Medical Center on March 10, 2020. Expired on March 17 at 6:41 a.m. Confirmed positive for COVID-19 on March 18, 2020. Cause of Death: ARDS secondary to COVID-19. With pre-existing Diabetes Mellitus. PH201 was listed as the 15th death of 17 nationwide as of March 18.  (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)