52 medical staff in CdeO test negative for COVID-19

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 11 May) —At least 52 doctors, nurses and other medical staff of the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) here have been tested negative of the dreaded coronavirus disease (COVID-19), officials said.

Dr. Joselito Retuya, chief epidemiologist of the Cagayan de Oro City Health Office, said the medical personnel were feared to have been infected after treating a 21-year-old vehicular accident victim last May 1.

The patient was treated at the emergency room of the NMMC but was later transferred to the surgical ward for a spine operation.

He was later tested positive of COVID-19. He died on May 5.

“We feared that they were at risk of being infected because they treated the patient, (that’s why they were tested),” Retuya said.

After the vehicular accident patient was tested positive for COVID-19, the entire NMMC staff assigned at the emergency room and surgical ward, including eight other patients, were placed under isolation.

Retuya said they are still investigating where the patient got the virus.

Another COVID-19 positive, a 69-year-old male from Pinikitan in Barangay Camaman-an here, died at the NMMC last April 18.

Dr. Adriano Suba-an, Department of Health-10 (DOH-10) director, urged the local government to enhance its COVID-19 response as he claimed that there is already a local transmission in the city since the source of the infection could not be traced.

He asked the city government to continue conducting contact tracing and to immediate quarantine all those who had close contacts with the COVID-19 positives.

Suba-an also recommended the conduct of laboratory testing to those who have close contacts with the COVID-19 positives and the establishment of a quarantine facility for suspect COVID-19 cases.

He said that communities with confirmed cases of COVID-19 should also be quarantined.

As of 3 p.m. Monday, May 11, this city has four confirmed COVID-19 deaths, two outpatients and one recovery, DOH-10 data showed.

DOH-10 also reported that as to suspect COVID-19 cases in the city, 30 patients remained in confinement, 46 have been discharged, 134 are outpatients and 18 have died.