Soccsksargen  records single-day high of 58 COVID-19 cases

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 6 September) – Soccsksargen region recorded a single-day high of 58 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), with several cases due to exposure to persons earlier tested positive for the virus, indicating the spread of the disease through local transmission.

Arjohn Gangoso, Department of Health – Soccsksargen (DOH-Soccsksargen) health education and promotion officer, said on Sunday that the new cases brought the number of confirmed COVID-19 positives in the region to 597 as of 6 p.m. Saturday, September 5.

“It’s the highest single-day spike for the region. The situation is serious and we really need each other’s help to contain the spread of the transmission,” he told MindaNews.

Based on the latest data for Region 12 (Soccsksargen),  South Cotabato has the highest COVID-19 cases at 161, followed by the chartered city of General Santos with 108, Sarangani with 98, Sultan Kudarat with 86, Cotabato City with 78 and North Cotabato with 66.

Cotabato City voted for inclusion in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao last year but the Department of Health Region 12 office still includes Cotabato City in its daily reports.

In South Cotabato, Dr. Rogelio Aturdido, Jr. confirmed the local transmission of COVID-19.

“We are afraid the COVID-19 cases will further surge if we cannot effectively trace the contacts of those who have been tested positive of the virus and isolate them if needed,” Aturdido said.

Aturdido reiterated the need for residents and others working in the province to register with the South Cotabato COVID-19 Contact Tracing System to help fight the spread of the virus.

He traced some cases of local transmission to the outbreak of COVID-19 at the General Santos City Fish Port Complex, which was partially shut down from September 2 to 5 to prevent the virus from spreading and for the decontamination of the facility.

An eight-year-old girl from Koronadal City, the capital of South Cotabato and the regional seat of government, was among the newest COVID-19 positives in the region. The girl was exposed to a person with COVID-19.

Gangoso said that due to the soaring cases, the contact tracing teams of different local government units in the region have intensified their efforts to identify the direct contacts of persons who tested positive for COVID-19 and regularly monitor those quarantined for proper treatment if they develop symptoms.

He appealed anew to the public to follow the health protocols to prevent the spread of  COVID-19 such as wearing of face shields and masks in public places, observing physical distancing, regular hand washing, and to stay home as much as possible.  (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)