5 Davao derby-goers from Agusan Sur found positive of COVID-19 in rapid tests 

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews / 02 May) —  Just as this province started to downgrade its status from enhanced community quarantine to general community quarantine (GCQ) on May 1, five residents in the province who went to the Davao derby in March tested positive of COVID-19 in rapid tests conducted  by the Provincial Health Office (PHO).

Dr. Jacqueline Frances F. Momville, provincial health officer announced on Friday afternoon that five of  85 residents of Agusan del Sur who went to the New Davao Matina Gallera for the “Araw ng Davao celebration 6-Cock Derby” on March 7 to 12  tested positive in the rapid antibody tests.

Momville, however, clarified that the results using these test kits are inconclusive and the five need further testing using the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for confirmation

“We are still waiting for the confirmatory test results. Patient profiling and contact tracing were already done,” Momville said. The rapid tests were done on April 24, 27, 28 and 29.

Concerned netizens in this province were asking authorities to provide more details on the areas of residence of those who tested positive from the rapid test when the PHO announcement was posted on its social media page.

A matrix showing the places of residence and the number of patients in  each town circulated over social media on Friday, citing two cases in Veruela town, one in Prosperidad town and two in Bayugan City.

Prompted by the number of inquiries he received, Governor Santiago Cane, Jr. confirmed the veracity of the matrix on Saturday morning.  He said it came from the PHO.

It is not clear how the matrix had leaked to social media which started spreading initially through private messages and group chats and later on social media posts by Friday evening.

“I can understand if you panicked.  The matrix is true,” Cane said in his post.

But he stressed that the results of the rapid tests are not enough as these have yet to be confirmed. He also said it is possible that the number could increase if all of those who went to the derby would come forward to undergo a test.

In the Caraga region, two of its three cases have been traced to exposure to persons who went to the Davao derby.

At least 44 cases in Davao City and other parts of Mindanao have been traced to exposure at the Davao derby or exposure to a person who went to the Davao derby. (Chris V. Panganiban / MindaNews)