2 more COVID patients die in CDO

Volunteers man a barricade in Barangay Pinikitan, Cagayan de Oro on Saturday, April 25, 2020 as news spread that a resident in their village died of COVID-19. Barricades manned by concerned residents sprouted on every street from Pinikitan to Adela and Ramonal village in Barangay Camaman-an, telling outsiders to keep off. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 07 May) — Two more COVID-19 deaths were reported this week as malls, restaurants and other essential firms in the city are set to reopen on Friday.

Dr. Bernard Julius Rocha, medical specialist at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center, said a COVID-19 patient, a 61-year old resident of Barangay Carmen, this city, died Wednesday morning at the hospital.

Rocha said another patient, a 21-year-old resident of Barangay Lumbia, died at the hospital around 12:50 am Wednesday.

These brought to seven the number of residents who have died from COVID-19, including an 18-year-old from Barangay Bulua who died at a hospital in Davao City and the 69-year old patient who died in Pinikitan last April 23.

Health authorities here are still tracing the source of infection for all of these deaths.

This as malls, restaurants and essential establishments were allowed to gradually reopen to spur the local economy.

Mayor Oscar Moreno signed last May 3 the order opening these establishments on Friday, May 8, following the provisions of the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of the Community Quarantine in the Philippines.

Local health authorities meanwhile are combining massive contact tracing and swab tests to look for those infected with COVID-19.

Dr. Joselito Retuya, chief epidemiologist at the Cagayan de Oro Health Office said they were able to track two relatives of the 69-year old patient from Pinikitan.

Retuya said the two relatives have tested positive of the virus and are now confined at the NMMC.

He said they have already searched 2,530 houses in Pinikitan and Barangay Lumbia, where the recent COVID-19 patients resided. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)