ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 08 June) —Two locally stranded individuals (LSIs) who have just returned to Lanao del Sur were found positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) over the weekend, officials said Monday.
Dr. Shalimar Rakiin, chief of the Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC), said the two female LSIs were subjected to a rapid diagnostic test at the COVID-19 isolation facility in Barangay Sagonsongan, Marawi City that initially found them positive for the disease.
Swab samples were taken for the reverse transcription polymerace chain reaction (PCR) test conducted at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center that confirmed the two were infected by COVID-19, she added.
Rakiin said they have reported the new COVID-19 cases to the Department of Health (DOH) office in Manila.
Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr., chair of the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, said the two COVID-19 positives came from Laguna and Metro Manila and arrived at the Laguindingan Airport in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental on June 3 and 5, respectively.
Adiong said the duo have been put on strict isolation at the Provincial Ligtas COVID-19 Center Quarantine Facility.
They are currently asymptomatic and being taken care of in accordance with the DOH protocols while contact tracing is going on, he added.
As of Sunday, June 7, at least 480 LSIs and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) who availed of the “Balik Probinsya” (Back to the Province) program have been subjected to rapid diagnostic tests, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MOH-BARMM) and APMC, Adiong said.
“We (want to) assure the public that the provincial IATF is doing its best to avert the community transmission of coronavirus disease,” he said.
“We are asking our families and friends in the province and Marawi City to stay at home as much as possible to reduce the chances of spreading the disease, observe physical distancing when going out for essential errands and follow established health protocols,” he added.
As of Sunday, MOH-BARMM said that Lanao del Sur has nine COVID-19 positives and three deaths.
Meanwhile in Lanao del Norte, the Incident Management Team (IMT) also reported a ROF and a LSI who were found positive of COVID-19 using the PCR test.
The two individuals have been confined at the isolation facility of the Kapatagan Provincial Hospital Annex, said Lyndon Calica, IMT chief.