Student stranded in Davao City but now back in Cotabato City  tests positive for COVID-19

COTABATO CITY  (MindaNews / 17 May)  — An 18-year old male student stranded for two months  in Davao City and who availed of  the Balik-Probinsya program of the city government of Cotabato, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Dr. Meyasser Patadon, City Health Officer,  said the student, the 8th COVID-19 case in Cotabato City, is asymptomatic.

Where are the people?
It’s a No Movement Sunday Cotabato City on 10 May 2020, as mandated by Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi’s Executive Order No. 343 to give business establishments time to thoroughly disinfect their areas. MindaNews photos by FERDINANDH B. CABRERA

Patadon said they are worried about those who are asymptomatic because they are the silent spreaders of the SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

A second batch of 39 students arrived in Cotabato City Monday last week.

He said as part of their protocol, they conducted a rapid diagnostic testing and found four tested positive.  The four went through a swab procedure and their specimens sent to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), in Davao City, the sub-national laboratory for COVID-19 testing in Midnanao.

Of the four, one was confirmed to be COVID-positive through the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), the gold standard for COVID-19 testing.

Patadon said the student “will undergo seven to 14 days in the isolation facility,” and will be released when he tests negative.

Last Friday,  a 26-year old male government employee became the 7th COVID-19 case in Cotabato City and the 17th in Region 12 or Soccsksargen.

Like Case 8, Case 7 is also asymptomaic.

Mayor Cynthia Guaini-Sayadi on Sunday evening said the city has intensified its massive contact tracing and encouraged all barangays to establish isolation rooms.

Sayadi reiterated to her constituents wear face masks when in public, disinfect always, observe coughing and sneezing etiquette and maintain social distancing.

Six of the eight COVID-19 cases in this city have recovered.

Under the General Community Quarantine status of the city, number coding will continue to be implemented, along with a “No Movement Sunday” and window hours for those who are holding quarantine passes.

City Administrator Dr. Danda Juanday announced that anytime next week, the city could already avail of the confirmatory testing facility of the state-run Cotabato Regional and Medical Centere here.

“I was informed they can accommodate at least 70 confirmatory tests a day,” he said. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)