KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 20 May) – A 19-year-old student from M’lang, North Cotabato who tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is set to be transferred to the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center in Cotabato City for further treatment.
The student, the fifth case in North Cotabato, reportedly travelled from Davao City, riding a government ambulance even if he was not included in the passenger manifest.
The teenager has a comorbidity – juvenile diabetes mellitus – and is still suffering from tonsillitis, according to M’lang Mayor Russel Abonado.
He said the student arrived in the municipality of M’lang on May 7 on board the government ambulance.
Allegedly, the car did not undergo a thorough check at the quarantine control station along the Davao del Sur-Makilala border.
After he arrived at his residence in M’lang on May 7, the student immediately manifested sore throat and decided to have a medical checkup at one of the hospitals in town.
Accordingly, he was given antibiotic but apparently the symptoms persisted. So on May 14, the health workers at the hospital decided to get specimen for COVID-19 test.
His results came out on May 17 showing he was positive of the virus, according to Mayor Abonado.
He said the student’s travel from Davao City to M’lang onboard the government ambulance had a go signal from Dr. Glicerio Sotea, the town’s rural health officer. The teenager allegedly got a medical clearance but Abonado has yet to find out if the certificate was issued by a doctor at the government-run Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) or a private practitioner in Davao City.
Sotea has yet to issue a public statement on the case.
Abonado said health protocols showed that a commuter coming from another town should secure a medical clearance from the Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit as proof he has completed his quarantine days before his travel.
The mayor stressed the student’s travel to M’lang did not pass through the provincial government’s program, Task Force Sagip Stranded North Cotabatenos.
Cotabato board member Shirlyn Macasarte Villanueva has authored resolution number 16-351, series of 2020, which urged the provincial council to convene as a committee of the whole to conduct a legislative inquiry on the alleged breach of health, quarantine, and border checkpoint protocols for COVID-19.
Meantime, PH3989 from Kidapawan City has expressed frustration over the delay in the release of his third swab test results.
“I may look physically fit but deep inside, I am experiencing mental distress,” said PH3989 in a phone interview.
PH3989 has been inside the isolation facility for 52 days since he tested positive for his first COVID-19 test.
His second test also tested positive. So on May 5, he underwent his third swab test.
But after waiting for 24 days, the results are not yet available.
“How long will I wait? I have my family, my work, and my life. I am already suffering from depression,” said PH3989.
His wife and kid tested negative so they were released from the city’s isolation facility.
Kidapawan City Mayor Joseph Evangelista said that while the City Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (CESU) and its provincial and regional counterparts (PESU and RESU) can follow up on the result of the test, its release depends solely on the SPMC laboratory where the specimen was brought. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)