ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews 01 August) – Basilan’s lone district representative, Mujiv Haraman and his wife, Isabela City Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin have tested positive for COVID-19 and are now under quarantine.
Both announced their test results on Saturday via social media. Rep. Hataman, also House Deputy Speaker, posted a note while the mayor, shared a video message via social media.
Rep. Hataman, who traveled to Davao and Cotabato in mid-July, said his doctor informed him travel to these places may not have been the source of his infection as it had been two weeks since he returned to Isabela on July 15.
Hataman had tested negative for COVID-19 in a swab test done on July 18, the results released on July 22.
But on Wednesday, July 29, the mayor said they experienced coughing and a slight fever so they went for a swab test in a private testing center in Zamboanga City on Thursday, July 30, and received the results late Friday afternoon, July 31.
“Pareho po kaming positive sa swab test” (Both of us tested positive in the swab test), the mayor said.
“Kami kasi ni Mujiv, di namin masabi kung saan namin nakuha at hindi rin namin masabi kung local transmission, kasi parte po ng trabaho namin ang tumanggap ng bisita galing po sa labas ng Isabela City,” she said.
COVID-19 infection comes not just from those who are symptomatic but also from those who are asymptomatic or do not manifest the symptoms associated with the disease.
She said contact tracing is ongoing for those they had close contact with in the last 72 hours.
She said they had always been taking extra precautions when they go out, adding she does not even remove her face mask even while inside her office.
“Mag-ingat po tayo dahil (Let’s be careful because) No. 1, it’s real,” she said, adding that when both of them received the results, “nagulat kami” (we were surprised).
“It can happen to anyone,” she lamented as she appealed to everyone to take extra care and follow health protocols.
Following their announcement, the City Government of Cotabato immediately posted on it social media post: “Honorable Congressman Mujiv Hataman just formally announced to the public that he and his wife, Mayor Djalia, are positive for COVID-19.”
It then asked those who came in close contact with Rep. Hataman while in Cotabato City, “to immediately get in touch with our City Health Office or with your respective Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams” and asked them to “isolate yourselves from the rest of your families and loved ones for everyone’s safety,” while waiting for the COVID-19 test results.
Rep. Hataman wrote on is Facebook page that passed by Cotabato City after Davao City on July 13 and 14 and arrived in Isabela City on July 15.
Three days later, on July 18, he had a swab test “kasi takot din ako lumapit sa aking pamilya at lumabas naman po and resulta ay negative po nuong July 22 (because I was afraid to get near my family and the results came out negative on July 22),” he said.
He said he received a visitor on July 25. That night, he experienced sore throat and cough.
On July 30, he and his wife went through a swab test and the results the next day showed they tested positive.
He said he asked his doctor if he got infected while traveling and was told it could not have been due to the travel since it had been two weeks since he arrived in Isabela.
“Kaya sa mga kababayan ko at nakakasalamuha sa Cotabato , wag po kayo masyadong mag-alala parang malabo na jan sa Cotabato o Davao ko nakuha o baka may pangamba ang mga nakausap ko, Inshallah, medyo malabo na po kung dahil sa pagkikita natin” (So to my fellowmen and those I was in contact with in Cotabato, do not worry so much because it is not likely I was in infected in Cotabato or Davao, Inshallah, it is likely not possible that it was through contact with you), he said.
Hataman, who was based in Cotabato City while serving as Governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao from December 2011 to February last year, said he phoned Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi to explain the situation.
He said they are awaiting the results of the swab tests of their children and household members.
He said they are under quarantine and are doing everything to ensure their household is safer and they won’t infect others.
“Maingat at mahigpit kaming sumunod sa safety measures. Pati na rin sa sino mang nakakasalamuha namin dito. Pero heto pa rin ang aming situwasyon. Tunay nga: Sa ganitong mga panahon, magkakarugtong ang kalusugan at kapalaran nating lahat” (We have been very careful and have been observing safety measures strictly. Even with those we are in contact with. But here is our situation. It is true: these days, our health and fate are intertwined), he said.
He said they are praying for everyone’s safety and together asked for prayers for the country to win the fight against the pandemic soonest. (Frencie Carreon / MindaNews)