North Cotabato IATF chief: Kidapawan now has COVID local transmission

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 18 September) – The city now has local transmission of COVID-19 based on data from the Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, Dr. Philbert Malaluan, provincial board member and head of the Inter-Agency Task Force of North Cotabato said.

Malaluan said the carrier, identified as Cotabato Patient 89, is a 40-year old policeman assigned in nearby Matalam town but resides in Kidapawan City.

Landmark in Kidapawan, North Cotabato. MIndaNews file photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

Late last month, Patient 89 attended a 15-day training at the Police Regional Office 12 headquarters in Tambler, General Santos City, where local transmission of virus was considered widespread.

The patient could have infected first his 65-year old father, tagged as Cotabato Patient 74, and then his 38-year old wife, tagged as Cotabato Patient 88, Malaluan said.

Patient 74 was brought to a government hospital here on Sept. 3 after he manifested flu-like symptoms, he said.

“It seems that the source of infection of any of the three mentioned patients cannot be attributed to outside Cotabato province,” he said.

But Malaluan clarified that the transmission was not widespread, as they were able to trace the source of the infection and the individuals who had close contact with the patients were already placed in strict quarantine in different facilities.

The three patients and a 4-month pregnant locally stranded individual who arrived at Davao City Airport on Sept. 16 were placed at the city government’s COVID-19 Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility.

The pregnant patient tested positive for the virus after based on the test at the airport upon her arrival, Malaluan said.

But the local government unit has neither confirmed nor denied Malaluan’s declaration, saying it has yet to issue an official statement on the matter.

City Mayor Joseph Evangelista said the announcement did not come from them or the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of the City Health Office.

“The declaration came from board member Malaluan. But the city government is yet to issue an official statement about this,” Evangelista said.

As of 6 p.m. on Sept. 17, North Cotabato had recorded 97 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 56 recoveries, one death.

Region 12 has recorded 1,019 COVID-19 cases, with South Cotabato topping the list with 329 patients. Nineteen of the patients had died, according to the Department of Health Center for Health Development 12. (Malu Cadeliña Manar/MindaNews)