GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 5 May) – The lone confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient in this city, who was earlier declared to have already recovered, has tested positive anew for the disease, the Department of Health (DOH)-Region 12 said Monday evening.
Arjohn Gangoso, DOH-12 health education and promotions officer, said PH3669 came out positive again for COVID-19 on his third test as confirmed by the Southern Philippines Medical Center laboratory in Davao City.
PH3669 was among the cockfighting aficionados here who attended a derby in Davao City in March that had been linked to a number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Gangoso said the laboratory confirmation was based on the oropharyngeal swab taken from the patient last April 28, two weeks after the latter tested negative for the virus and discharged from a private hospital here.
But he immediately allayed concerns over the positive test result, noting that it could have been “due to the remnants the dead virus detected through the Polymerase Chain Reaction test.”
“This does not necessarily entail that the patient is infectious,” he said in a statement, citing an earlier pronouncement from DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergerie.
Gangoso said PH3669, who was already subjected to fourth repeat swabbing, has remained in stable condition and undergoing strict home quarantine.
He said such protocol was provided for in DOH Administrative Order No. 2020-0013, which sets that confirmed COVID-19 cases assessed as symptomatic or clinically recovered by their attending physician may be discharged after at least one negative result.
Discharged patients who would develop new signs and symptoms or progress from mild to more serious will be readmitted in an isolation facility and subjected to further tests, he said.
“In the meantime, we urge the public to observe preventive measures such as regular handwashing, use of face mask, social distancing and other preventive measures set by your respective local government units,” he said.
As of Monday afternoon, the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Region 12 or Soccsksargen remained at 16, with one death, and 14 of the patients were listed as already recovered.
PH3669, the 11th confirmed case in the region, had come out in public and was identified as 59-year-old businessman William Gonzales.
Mayor Ronnel Rivera advised residents to strictly comply with the safety and quarantine protocols despite assurance from the DOH that the patient’s positive result was possibly due to the detection of virus remnants.
“We still have to make everyone realize how dangerous our situation is,” the mayor said.
He said everyone should exercise caution and take the necessary protective measures at all times.
“Do not take things too lightly just because we are already under general community quarantine. This virus is still there and we should never be complacent,” Rivera added. (MindaNews)