KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 18 May) —After more than a month, the dreaded coronavirus disease (COVID-19) reared its ugly head anew in Soccsksargen (Region 12), with four more positive cases recorded since Friday, bringing the total to 20, the Department of Health-12 (DOH-12) reported.
Three new COVID-19 cases were confirmed Sunday afternoon — an 18-year-old male from Cotabato City, a 25-year-old male from South Cotabato and a 43-year-old male from North Cotabato.
On Friday afternoon, another resident from Cotabato City, a 26-year-old male, was found positive for COVID-19.
Prior to that, the last COVID-19 case in Soccsksargen was reported on April 9 as PH 3989, a 48-year-old male from North Cotabato with a travel history to Davao City, the epicenter of the coronavirus disease in Mindanao.
The four new COVID-19 cases have not yet been assigned their patient numbers by the DOH.
But all of them were reported on stable condition, according to Arjohn Gangoso, DOH-12 spokesperson.
Of the 20 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region, 14 have recovered while only one had died so far, DOH-12 data showed.
In the region, Cotabato City has the highest number of COVID-19 positives with eight, followed by North Cotabato and South Cotabato with four each, Sultan Kudarat with three, and General Santos with one.
Sarangani province remained without a confirmed COVID-19 case in the region so far.
Cotabato City voted inclusion last year to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) but the city has not yet been turned over to the new Bangsamoro region due to pending legal challenges and an appeal from the city government to the Office of the President.
Cotabato City is also the seat of government of BARMM, which straddles the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi.
Since the coronavirus disease monitoring was launched last February, Region 12 also logged a total of 451 suspect COVID-19 cases.
Of that figure, 51 are still admitted in various hospitals, 120 have been discharged, 249 were outpatients and 31 have died, according to DOH-12 data as of Sunday afternoon, May 17.
There were three other probable COVID-19 deaths recorded in the region, it added.
Of the total 35 reported deaths across the region, only one was tested positive for COVID-19, 29 have negative results, two results are still pending while the three others have no specimens that were collected, DOH-12 said.
The region was placed under a modified general community quarantine from Saturday, May 16, until May 31. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)