South Cotabato’s 3rd COVID-19 case travelled to Cebu, Tacloban

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 8 April) – Health authorities confirmed on Wednesday afternoon the third confirmed case of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in South Cotabato province and the first for this city.

South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr. speaks to the media regarding the province’s measures against COVID-19 at his office in Koronadal City. (File photo courtesy of the Provincial Information Office)

Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr., head of the South Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), said in an emergency press conference the COVID-19 patient is a 59-year-old male with history of travel to Tacloban and Cebu cities.

He said the patient (PH3772) flew last March 8 from Tacloban to Cebu and then to Davao City, where he was fetched by a private car and proceeded to this city.

The latter started to show suspected symptoms of COVID-19 the following day, March 9, and sought consultation with a private doctor, who then prescribed some medication, he said.

Aturdido said the patient’s condition did not improve after several days so he sought another medical consultation last March 20 but was instead admitted in a private hospital due to respiratory-related symptoms.

“His condition later improved and was discharged on March 26 after being declared as clinically recovered,” the official said.

Aturdido said the patient underwent strict home quarantine after his release from the hospital and was already on the 14th day of observation when the laboratory confirmation came in on Wednesday.

He said a nurse from the Department of Health’s (DOH) deployment program attested that the patient “religiously followed” the isolation and quarantine protocols.

Dr. Stephen Mortera, city health physician, said they started conducting contact-tracing for the patient even before his test results came out.

He said the patient’s family members and other people who had close contact with him, including doctors and nurses, did not manifest any sign and symptom of COVID-19 so far.

The DOH’s epidemiology bureau was already alerted for the contact-tracing of airline passengers who were on the same flight with the patient.

Aturdido again urged residents not to panic and advised them to strictly follow the quarantine measures, especially the practice of social and physical distancing.

As in the first two confirmed COVID-19 cases, he said the latest patient had travel history outside the province and did not acquire the disease through local transmission.

The first confirmed case, the 52-year-old patient (PH2173) from Tboli town, came from Metro Manila while the second, a 56-year-old male (PH3268), attended a cockfight derby in Davao City last month that was linked to a number of COVID-19 deaths and positive cases. (MindaNews)