Mindanao’s COVID-19 positives now 326 as Zambo City jail cases surge to 86

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 May) – Mindanao’s COVID-19 cases have risen to 326 as 35 more inmates and jail personnel at the Zamboanga City Reformatory Center tested positive of the coronavirus on May 10 and 11.

Davao City continues to have the highest number of cases at 159 (48.77%) followed by Zamboanga City with 95 (29.14%) of the total positives across Mindanao’s 27 provinces and 33 cities, according to reports from the Department of Health regional offices and the Ministry of Health in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) as of May 11.

Both Davao and Zamboanga cities are under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until May 15,  Davao since 9 p.m. of April 4 when the total number of cases was 62 out of the region’s 77.  Zamboanga City was already on general community quarantine but asked that it be placed under ECQ early this month, following the surge in cases at the city jail beginning May 1.

Among the six regions,  Region 11 or Davao region tops with 177 cases or 54.29% of Mindanao’s total, followed by Region 9 or the Zamboanga Peninsula with 101 (30.98%),  Region 10 or Northern Mindanao with 18 (5.52%), Region 12 or Soccsksargen with 16 (4.9%), BARMM with 11 (3.37%) and Caraga with three  (0.92%).

Under the Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution No. 35, Regions 10, 12 and the BARMM have been classified as Low Risk areas and will no longer be under general community quarantine or enhanced community quarantine after May 15 but are required to observe “ minimum health standards.”

Regions 9, 11 and Caraga region  have been classified as Modrate Risk areas and will be under general community quarantine from May 16 to 31 “without prejudice to the declaration of Enhanced Community Quarantine in critical areas.”

Curiously, Caraga, which has  the lowest number of cases — only three or 0.92% of 326 cases in Mindanao — has been classified as “moderate risk.”

Davao and Zamboanga cities, which have the highest cases in the Davao and Zamboanga regions – a total of 278 or 91.14% of Mindanao’s total cases – have also been classified as “moderate risk.”  But in the case of Davao City and Davao de Oro, which has only two cases, the IATF said their classification is “assuming similar risk-classification prevails on 14 May 2020.”

The IATF resolution provides that provinces, highly-urbanized cities and independent component cities classified as low, moderate and high-risk “may appeal their classification to the IATF Screening and Validation Committee with the concurrence of the Regional IATF not later than 13 May 2020.”

Mayor Isabelle Climaco has appealed for an extension of the ECQ in  Zamboanga City beyond May 15.

Positives in jail: 86 of 95 cases in Zambo City

Of the 95 cases in Zamboanga City, 86  or 90.52% are from the jail: 72 inmates and 14 personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP). Two of the inmates died. Overall, the city has three COVID-19 deaths.

As of May 3, 2020, the Zamboanga City Reformatory Center had 3,693 inmates, 3,319 of them male and 374 female.

An advisory from the Task Force COVID-19 posted on the Facebook page of the City Government of Zamboanga on Monday said there are 14 newly-confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday, May 10, bringing the total number of positive cases in the city to 74.

Of the 14 new COVID cases, six are BJMP personnel while eight are inmates currently at the isolation area of the Zamboanga jail. The advisory said they are all in stable condition and that test results for the new cases “are from the genexpert test” at the Zamboanga City Medical Center.

On May 12, the Department of Health-Zamboanga’s Center for Health Development reported 21 more positives from the jail as of May 11 – 16 inmates and five BJMP personnel.

Before May 10, there were 51 cases of positives from the jail and the last confirmed case was reported on May 3 — ZC60, a 61-year old female also from the Zamboanga City jail,  with co-morbidities. She died on April 30 at the Mindanao Central Sanitarium Hospital.

The first COVID-19 positive, ZP09, a 47-year old male inmate, died on April 20 at the hospital due to “respiratory failure with underlying pulmonary tuberculosis infection.” He was earlier tagged  as person under investigation but  lab results later showed he tested positive for COVID-19.

Cases per region, province

Based on the regional reports,  here is the breakdown of the number of cases as of May 11.

Region 9 or Zamboanga Peninsula’s 101 cases: 95  in Zamboanga City, one in Zamboanga del Norte and five in Zamboanga del Sur.








Region 10 or Northern Mindanao’s 18 cases: seven in Cagayan de Oro (four deaths, one recovery, two outpatient); four in Iligan City (two deaths, two recoveries); four in Misamis Occidental (one death, one recovery, two outpatients); one in Bukidnon and one in Camiguin both of whom have recovered.










Region 11 or Davao region’s 177 cases: 159 in Davao City (20 deaths), 10 in Davao del Norte (one death), three in Davao Oriental (all recovered), two in Davao del Sur (both recovered), two in Davao de Oro (both recovered) and the lone case from Davao Occidental, died.












Region 12 or Soccksargen’s 16 cases: six in Cotabato City (all recovered); three in North Cotabato (two recoveries); three in South Cotabato (all recovered); three in Sultan Kudarat (two recoveries; one death); and one in General Santos City who has since recovered.











Caraga region has three cases, all in Butuan City.












BARMM has 11 cases: nine in Lanao del Sur, one in Maguindanao and one in Sulu.









Nationwide as of May 11, the total number of cases rose to 11,086. Of this number, 8,311 are active cases, 726 died and 1,999 recovered.

Mindanao’s 326 COVID-19 positives, representing those who have been tested using the RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) which is considred the gold standard for COVID-19 testing,  account for 2.94% of the national total. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)