COVID-19 cases in CDO surge to 59 as of July 4

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 05 July) — In just three days, COVID-19 cases in the city surged to 59 with 17 new positives recorded from among returning stranded residents and overseas Filipinos on July 2, 3 and 4.

As of July 4, out of 59 cases, 38 are returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and locally stranded individuals (LSIs), the Department of Health’s Center for Health Development in Northern Mindanoa reported.

This as health officials here announced they have stopped local transmissions to a minimum and that for the first time, there was no admission in the Northern Mindanao Medical Center.

A City Health Office worker administers a rapid antibody test on one of the residents of Barangay Carmen, Cagayan de Oro on Thursday, June 25, 2020. The barangay is  where most of the COVID-19 cases in Cagayan de Oro reside. But by July 4, out of the city’s 59 COVID-19 cases, 38 are returnees — overseas Filipinos and those stranded in Manila and other areas during the lockdown. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Dr. Joselito Retuya, Cagayan de Oro Chief Epidemiologist, said seven returning residents were found positive of the coronavirus on July 3  through Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests.

Retuya said the new arrivals were quarantined at various isolation units in the city when the tests results came.

Three more cases were added on July 4, according to the DOH-CHD records.

On July 2, the City Health Office reported six LSIs from Metro Manila and one overseas Filipina from Canada tested positive of COVID-19.

Mayor Oscar Moreno said of the 182 positive cases in Northern Mindanao as of July 3,  some 149 cases or 82 percent were LSIs and ROFs.

The DOH-CHD as of 3p.m.on July 4 recorded a regional total of 189, of which 156 or 82.5%  are LSIs and ROFs.  Of the 189 cases, 59 are in Cagayan de Oro.

Moreno said he expected the number to rise especially that ROFs and LSIs from Manila continue to arrive at the Laguindingan airport and Macabalan Port here.

To prevent the spread of the disease,  returnees arriving in Cagayan de Oro City are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

“We cannot close our borders to these people. Imagine if they are your family members and relatives,” Moreno said.

Moreno said most of the new positive cases are asymptomatic and are now undergoing treatment at the city isolation units.

NMMC spokesperson Dr. Bernard Rocha said they think they have already come up with a suitable strategy to stop the spread of the disease.

Rocha said social distancing; wearing masks and frequent washing of hands are proven to be effective against the spread.

“The biggest COVID-19 spreaders with ages between 20s to 40s are fully aware of these safeguards. It spared the senior citizens who are susceptible to infection,” Rocha said.

He said as a result, NMMC has had no admission of COVID-19 patients for more two weeks now. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)