Suspect COVID-19 patient from North Cotabato dies

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 24 April) – Another resident of North Cotabato who was suspected of having contracted the coronavirus disease died on Thursday, a health official said.

Dr. Philbert Malaluan, manager of the Emergency Operations Center of the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19, said the patient was a 65-year old male who died of cardiac arrest.

He also suffered from community-acquired pneumonia, chronic kidney disease stage V and severe anemia.

The result of his laboratory test has yet to arrive from the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.

Malaluan said the result was delayed due to backlogs at the SPMC after some of its workers tested positive of the disease.

He, however, dispelled fears of local transmission of the virus as the patient had no travel history and only few of his family members took care of him while he was still hospitalized at the Cotabato Regional Medical Center in Cotabato City.

The first death linked to possible COVID-19 infection in the province was that of a 38-year old female from Tulunan town who died of severe acute respiratory disease. She tested negative of the virus.

Malaluan was hopeful the province could “flatten the curve” since the two remaining cases had been showing good results, although their second PCR lab tests were still pending at the SPMC.

The two confirmed COVID-19 cases are an eight-month-pregnant woman and a 45-year old cockfighting aficionado who attended a 6-cock derby at the New Davao Matina Gallera in Davao City last month. Both are from Kidapawan City, the official said.

“After April 30, the task force and top officials of North Cotabato could decide whether to continue with the enhanced community quarantine or we will lower our quarantine to general community quarantine. But of course, we will abide by the pronouncement of President Duterte and guidelines from President the national offices,” he said.

Duterte, acting on a recommendation from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), extended the enhanced community quarantine in Mindanao’s “high-risk areas,” namely Davao City, Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro, until May 15.

The other areas of Mindanao are considered either moderate-risk or low-risk, and will be under general community quarantine starting May 1, subject to further evaluation.

The IATF-MEID said in low-risk areas where there is no deterioration, the GCQ would be relaxed leading to normalization starting May 16. (Malu Cadeliña-Manar/MindaNews)