With confirmed COVID-19 case, Sultan Kudarat to impose lockdown, curfew

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 27 March) – Sultan Kudarat province will impose a lockdown and a 10-hour curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. effective March 28 to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Gov. Suharto Mangudadatu said.

Tacurong City Hall

Mangudadatu signed Executive Order 25 on Thursday raising the general community quarantine to enhanced community quarantine after the province recorded its first confirmed COVID-19 fatality, PH600, who died on March 14 at a hospital in the province’s lone city of Tacurong.

The 87-year-old male succumbed to “acute respiratory failure secondary to COPD, community acquired pneumonia,” the Department of Health – Region 12 (DOH-12) said.

“There will be a provincial lockdown…all public transportation, including tricycles and skylab (motorcycles) operators, will be suspended,” Mangudadatu said.

A source at the Tacurong City government, who requested anonymity, said  Friday that PH600, who died at a hospital in their city on March 14, was a resident of another locality.

A wake was held for PH600, who was tested positive for COVID-19 based on results released on March 25, by his relatives in Tacurong, the official said.

The official admitted they have a resident of Tacurong City who has been classified as a PUI but that the patient was tested negative of COVID-19.

“Tacurong City is still COVID-19 free,” the source said.

Arjohn Gangoso, DOH-12 health education and promotion officer, said that contact tracing is still ongoing involving the case of PH600.

He said that PH600 exhibited symptoms of the coronavirus disease, such as cough, fever and difficulty in breathing, upon admission at the hospital.

Gangoso said that the deceased patient had interactions with a family member who has a recent travel history to Manila.

Mangudadatu said that for those authorized to travel to and from the province, such as frontliners, responders, law enforcers, among others, a “no ID, no entry, no exit policy” will be implemented during the lockdown at the border checkpoints.

Vehicles transporting foods and other essential supplies shall be extended unhampered access to and within the province, he added.

Mangudadatu asked the mayors to coordinate with businessmen engaged in the selling of basic consumer goods for the establishment of rolling stores to go to the communities.

“Our goal is to contain people to stay at home while we are battling this invisible enemy,” Mangudadatu said.

Based on the latest data from the Department of Health Center for health Development – Soccsksargen, Sultan Kudarat has 10 persons under investigation (PUIs) on home quarantine while one is still admitted in an undisclosed hospital.

At least 700 persons under monitoring have been undergoing the 14-day home quarantine, it added.

The lockdown is effective until revoked, Mangudadatu said. (Bong S. Sarmiento/MindaNews)