Manhunt on for missing husband of COVID-19 patient in CDO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 14 July) – Authorities here launched a citywide manhunt for the missing common-law husband of a 30-year-old sidewalk vendor who tested positive of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

A health worker checks the temperature of a resident in Barangay 35 in Cagayan de Oro City Monday (13 July 2020) after the city government locked down the community when one of its residents tested positive of COVID-19. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Mayor Oscar Moreno said the husband, who has gone missing since Sunday, should have been isolated along with eight members of his family who were already confined at an undisclosed isolation facility in the city.

The Maranao family is a resident of Barangay 35 here.

“I am not alarmed by the 10 family members because they are already in the isolation unit. I am alarmed about this man. We do not know if he is infected or not,” Moreno said.

Health officials here issued an appeal to the local Maranao community to report the whereabouts of the man whom they said should be quarantined and tested for the virus.

“We are calling on the Maranao community to help City Hall locate and bring him in for quarantine,” said Dr. Joselito Retuya, epidemiologist at the City Health Office.

He said the husband has gone missing after he brought his wife to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center.

The husband, Retuya said, earlier brought his wife to the city government-owned Jose Borja Memorial Hospital after she complained of diarrhea.

But doctors at the city hospital suspected something was wrong because earlier, on Friday, her sister, also a sidewalk vendor, died of diarrhea and fever. The 20-year-old sister reportedly died in their home in Barangay 35 and was never tested for the coronavirus.

Retuya said the younger sister was buried immediately at the Bolonsiri public cemetery.

The elder sister, however, was tested and found to be positive of the COVID-19, Retuya noted.

Moreno quickly ordered Barangay 35, an urban poor community of 1,000 families, to be under lockdown for 14 days.

Retuya said the 30-year-old vendor is the 97th COVID-19 case in Cagayan de Oro and clearly a case of local transmission. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)