South Cotabato’s first COVID-19 patient recovers

South Cotabato. Map courtesy of Google

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/16 April) – South Cotabato province’s first confirmed case of the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has tested negative for the virus and is now considered to have recovered.

T’boli Mayor Dibu Tuan said the 52-year-old male patient (PH 2173) from his town has turned out free of the virus based on the result of his repeat swab test released by the Southern Philippines Medical Center laboratory in Davao City.

He said the test result was confirmed on Wednesday night by the Department of Health (DOH)-Region 12.

“No words can describe the happiness I felt upon hearing that news,” the mayor said in a Facebook post.

In its Covid-19 situation report as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, DOH-12 said PH 2173, who has history of travel to Metro Manila, was among the seven Covid-19 patients in the Soccsksargen region who already recovered from the disease.

“(The patient) is in stable condition and with one negative result for repeat Covid-19 test,” it said.

The patient was confirmed positive of Covid-19 last April 1, two weeks after arriving in the province from Metro Manila.

Case records released by the South Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) showed that the patient, who resided in Tondo, Manila for 21 years, traveled home through a passenger vessel last March 13 and arrived in Cagayan de Oro City two days later.

He then took a passenger bus to Koronadal City, transferred to another bus en route to Surallah town and arrived in Tboli aboard a tricycle on March 16.

Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr., IPHO chief, earlier said they traced at least 21 persons who possibly had close contact with the patient.

He said not one among them as well as the patient’s relatives manifested any sign and symptom of the disease.

The two other confirmed cases in the province, PH 3268 and PH 3772, were also in stable condition and undergoing strict home quarantine.

PH 3268 was a 56-year-old man from Banga town who attended a cockfight derby in Davao City last month while PH 3772 was a 59-year-old male from this city who has travel history to cities of Tacloban and Cebu.

Tuan said health authorities declared that the patient was no longer considered a threat to the community and no new suspected and probable cases were so far recorded in Tboli.

He said the recovery of the patient is a huge relief to residents of Barangay Lemhaku, which had a “hard journey” because of the situation.

“Let’s keep it that way – maintain the zero case. We should continue observing the preventive measures until this crisis ends,” he added. (MindaNews)