GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 17 June) – The confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in South Cotabato province have increased to 14 after two more returning residents tested positive on Wednesday afternoon.
The additional cases – a locally stranded individual (LSI) from Sto. Niño town and an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) from Banga – were first reported around 2 p.m. by South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. in a Facebook post.
The 26-year-old male LSI returned home from Manila through a commercial flight last June 15 while the 54-year-old female OFW arrived from Manila via Cagayan de Oro City on Tuesday aboard a 2GO passenger vessel.
The two turned out positive for COVID-19 based on the result of the Polymerase Chain Reaction or PCR tests released by the Dr. Arturo P. Pingoy Medical Center in Koronadal City.
“They are [under close observation] in our isolation facilities,” the governor said.
The two new cases have brought the active COVID-19 infections in the province to 10 since last week, with five only confirmed in the last three days.
The three other cases, all returning residents from Tupi town, tested positive on Monday and Tuesday.
The province’s first four COVID-19 patients, who were confirmed positive from March to May, have already fully recovered.
Sto. Niño Mayor Pablo Matinong said the town’s first-ever COVID-19 patient was among the four LSIs who arrived from Manila last Monday.
“All of them were subjected to PCR test but only one turned out positive,” he said in a radio interview.
He said the patient was in stable condition and undergoing quarantine at the designated municipal isolation center.
Matinong said personnel from the Municipal Health Office were closely observing the patient’s companions and have started the contact-tracing.
Banga Mayor Albert Palencia said the OFW was among the 57 residents from the area who were catered by a 2GO passenger vessel from Manila that was arranged by the provincial government.
He said the patient, the third confirmed case in the area since last week, was from Barangay Cabudian and worked in Dubai.
“She was in stable condition and our health workers were closely monitoring her condition,” he said.
Palencia said all three active cases in their town were undergoing quarantine at the Banga National High School, the designated municipal isolation center. (MindaNews)