3 dialysis patients in South Cotabato infected with virus

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 20 August) – Three dialysis patients in Polomolok town, South Cotabato province have tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after being exposed to confirmed cases.

Polomolok, South Cotabato. Map courtesy of Google

The three were among the eight additional locally transmitted cases in the area, as reported on Wednesday night by the Department of Health-Region 12, that were linked to an agricultural worker who turned out positive of the disease last Aug. 14.

Polomolok Mayor Honey Lumayag-Matti said Thursday the dialysis patients were clients of a private hospital in Barangay Cannery where the positive patient was first admitted late last week.

Three of the hospital’s employees, one of them traced to have had direct contact with the COVID-19 patient, came out positive on Monday and Tuesday in Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing.

“They (dialysis patients) were directly exposed to the infected medical workers during their treatment,” she told reporters.

The mayor said three more medical workers from the same hospital and two direct contacts of the agricultural worker, the town’s third confirmed case, also tested positive of the disease on Wednesday.

She said the latest cases have so far brought to 12 the confirmed disease transmissions traced to the agricultural worker, who earlier infected his six-month-old son.

Matti said Municipal Health Office personnel are closely monitoring the status of over 100 identified direct contacts of the “primary patient,” who had no travel history and considered a locally-acquired case.

She said another round of contact-tracing activities has been launched for the eight additional patients.

“Our goal is to immediately identify the direct contacts and subject them to RT-PCR testing and proper isolation,” she said.

On Wednesday, the municipal government of Polomolok placed at least four barangays and three other puroks under localized lockdown for 14 days in line with the recorded COVID-19 local transmission.

These are Barangays Poblacion, Cannery, Silway 8, Magsaysay, Puroks 1 and 4 of Koronadal Proper, and Purok Cassava of Maligo.

The local government ordered on Thursday the temporary closure of all tourism sites within the municipality to further limit the movement of residents. (MindaNews)