KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 8 April) – The second coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient in North Cotabato is a 29-year-old female nurse who has travelled to Abu Dhabi, Singapore, and Davao City, officials said.
Kidapawan City Mayor Joseph Evangelista said PH3671 worked as a nurse in a hospital in the city and traveled to Abu Dhabi last month to meet her husband, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW).
Dr. Philbert Malaluan, manager of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) of the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19, said PH3671 has co-morbidity as she is pregnant.
Malaluan said PH3671 has been exposed to her husband who was earlier tested positive of the virus. The husband, accordingly, is asymptomatic as of press time.
Earlier, lawyer Jose Paolo Evangelista, the city information officer, said PH3671 was placed under home quarantine.
Mayor Evangelista, in a press conference on Wednesday, said the patient is already in stable condition and waiting for the results of the second Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory test from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City.
Dr. Jocelyn Incienzo, city health officer, explained they already conducted contact tracing of at least nine members in her family – seven adults and two children – who were also taken into the isolation facility but placed in separate rooms.
All other 16 individuals who came in close contact with PH3671 after she arrived in the city were already considered as persons under monitoring (PUMs) and were told to strictly follow home quarantine guidelines.
But if the PUMs manifest flu-like symptoms, the City Health Office will conduct rapid testing, according to the guidelines of the Department of Health, according to Mayor Evangelsita.
The province of North Cotabato has already two COVID-19 cases since Monday.
The first was a 45-year-old cock handler from Midsayap town who attended the 6-cock derby held at the New Davao Matina Gallera from March 6 until March 12.
Dr. Malaluan said that the patient is still inside the isolation facility of the Cotabato Provincial Hospital at Amas capitol complex even if he is already in stable condition or showing no flu-like symptoms at all.
“We just would like to be sure if, indeed, he is already free from COVID-19, the doctor said, noting that the patient was subjected to a second confirmatory test only last Monday.
Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco, during the press conference, has appealed to social media and to the people of the province to stop spreading fake news or baseless data as regards the COVID-19 patients.
“We might not die of COVID-19 but instead die because of the wrong information we get from the fake news items in social media,” she warned.
The governor urged leaders, frontliners, all healthcare workers, and the people of North Cotabato “to unite as one, heal as one, and to act as one.”
The DOH’s Center for Health Development in Region 12 reported three new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, making the total number to 13. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)