GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 2 April) – Four more residents of Region 12 or Soccsksargen have tested positive for the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19), bringing the confirmed cases in the area to seven, based on the 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, data released by the Department of Health (DOH)-12’s Center for Health and Development.
Arjohn Gangoso, health education and promotion officer of DOH-12, said Thursday two of the new Covid-19 cases were from Cotabato City and one each from South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat provinces.
He said these were based on the confirmatory test results received by the agency from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) laboratory in Davao City as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Cotabato City now has four confirmed cases, the highest in the region so far.
Gangoso said the fourth Covid-19 case (PH 2173) was a 52-year-old male from South Cotabato that was initially confirmed by the Integrated Provincial Health Office last Tuesday.
He said the patient, who was in stable condition and under strict home quarantine in Tboli town, returned home from Manila through a passenger vessel via Cagayan de Oro City and arrived in the area last March 16.
A 56-year-old male from Cotabato City is the fifth Covid-19 case in the region. Tagged as PH 2235, he has a travel history to Pampanga and Davao City.
Both patients are currently admitted at the isolation facility of CRMC.
PH 2236 is the sixth confirmed Covid-19 patient in the region and is also from Cotabato City. The 46-year-old is confined at the CRMC. He recently traveled to Davao City.
Gangoso said the seventh case (PH 2240), a 21-year-old female from Sultan Kudarat who arrived from Manila last March 15, was listed in stable condition and “on strict monitoring at the designated municipal isolation area.”
Earlier, the DOH-12 disclosed that two confirmed COVID-19 patients, PH145 and PH 599, were from Cotabato City. PH145 has recovered and was discharged from the CRMC while PH 599 is under home quarantine and in stable condition.
An 87-year old patient under investigation (PUI) from Sultan Kudarat (PH 600) died last March 14 while awaiting the test result.
Of the 171 PUIs listed by DOH-12, 35 have recovered. Gangoso said 29 of them were admitted in various hospitals in the region while 100 others were under home quarantine.
At least 309 were considered persons under monitoring (PUM) and have yet to complete their mandatory 14-day home quarantine, he said.
“We’re were still waiting for the test results of the remaining PUIs,” he said, noting that they have set a weekly schedule for the sending of samples to the SPMC for laboratory confirmation.
He said they have not recorded any case of Covid-19 infection “in the line of duty” among health care workers in the region.
He said none among the medical front-liners who were earlier exposed or had direct contact with Covid-19 patients have so far manifested any sign and symptom of the deadly disease.
“As of the moment, they are under strict monitoring and on hospital quarantine,” he added.
Cotabato City voted for inclusion to the BARMM during the plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law last year.
To date, however, the city has yet to be officially turned over to the Bangsamoro region.
Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani Sayadi has appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to “hold in abeyance” the turnover of her city to the BARMM until the end of the transition period on June 30, 2022.
At least four petitions have also been filed before the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the Bangsamoro law and results of the plebiscite in Cotabato City.
BARMM is also composed of the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi and 63 villages in North Cotabato. (MindaNews/with a report from Bong S. Sarmiento)