Returning OFW tests positive for virus in GenSan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 03 July) – A returning Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) here has tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) while undergoing home quarantine, officials confirmed on Friday.

City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said in a press conference the latest confirmed case, the fourth for the city, was a 39-year-old male who returned home last June 21 aboard a Philippine Airlines (PAL) “sweeper” flight from Manila.

He said the OFW, who worked in the Middle East, turned out positive of Covid-19 based on the result of the Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test released Friday morning.

“The patient is very healthy and now under the care of our medical personnel at the Covid-19 Center,” the mayor said, referring to the city’s dedicated Covid-19 treatment facility at the local government-run Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital (DJPRH).

Records showed that the overseas worker arrived aboard special PAL flight 4525A that landed at 1:52 a.m. last June 21 at the city international airport.

He and other passengers from the city were immediately brought to a designated temporary quarantine facility and tested negative in the rapid antibody test during the initial screening.

The OFW was eventually cleared to continue his quarantine at home after seven days in isolation but later manifested suspected symptoms of the disease.

He was subjected to swab collection last Tuesday for confirmatory RT-PCR test and came out positive.

Dr. Ryan Aplicador, DJPRH chief, said the contact-tracing activities are ongoing for persons who might have had engaged with the patient during the facility and home quarantine.

He said they already reached to other local government units for the monitoring of other passengers of the PAL “sweeper” flight.

The official said they are currently waiting for the result of the RT-PCR tests on the OFW’s family members.

As of noon Friday, the confirmed Covid-19 cases in the city had increased to four, with two recoveries.

Aside from the OFW, a 22-year-old female locally-stranded individual who returned home from Cebu last May 31 remains under hospital isolation.

Aplicador said the two patients were in stable condition and only manifested mild symptoms of the disease.

“They are okay physically and not intubated or subjected to any major treatment procedure,” he said.

He added that they were closely observing four more suspect Covid-19 patients and waiting for the release of their RT-PCR test results. (MindaNews)