GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 22 May) – Health personnel have launched extensive tracking and surveillance for residents here who possibly had contact with a confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patient from nearby Polomolok town, South Cotabato province.
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said he ordered the move following confirmation that the 25-year-old male patient underwent consultation and checkup for a pulmonary illness in a medical clinic here last May 6, nearly two weeks before he tested positive for the disease.
He said they already traced the doctor and individuals who might have had contact with the patient at the clinic, which was located in Santiago Blvd.
“But there were other individuals that we’re still trying to locate right now,” Rivera said in a public video message released on Thursday night.
The mayor specifically cited the driver and passengers of a tricycle that brought the patient to the clinic from the round ball or rotunda in Barangay Apopong around 9 a.m. last May 6.
He said they were also tracing residents who had lunch from 11 a.m. to 12 noon that day in an eatery located at the corner of Santiago Blvd. and Kadulasan street, and the driver and passengers of another tricycle that brought the patient back to the Apopong round ball from the clinic around 3 p.m.
Rivera advised residents to remain calm as the possible incubation period of the disease has already lapsed.
But he urged those who were experiencing possible symptoms to stay in their homes and immediately contact the city government’s COVID-19 hotlines.
“We want to make sure that every possible direct and secondary contacts of the patient are properly traced by our surveillance teams,” he said.
Rivera said they have tightened the inspection of all persons entering the city’s border with Polomolok town to ensure that movements will only be limited to essential transactions.
The entry of public utility vehicles from Sarangani and South Cotabato provinces remains prohibited due to the extended modified general community quarantine.
South Cotabato province already recorded four confirmed COVID-19 cases while Sarangani has one.
As of Thursday, the city has only recorded one confirmed COVID-19 case, with the patient now fully recovered.
The City Health Office has not reported any new suspect and confirmed case but 107 persons were listed as under monitoring and on home quarantine. (MindaNews)