DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 October) – Mayor Ernesto Evangelista of Santo Tomas town in Davao del Norte province tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), municipal information officer Mart Sambalud confirmed on Thursday.
Sambalud said Evangelista, the first local chief executive in the province to have contracted the SARS-COV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, was exposed to a 38-year old lawyer last October 14 at the executive hall of the municipal government.
He said the mayor was symptomatic, experiencing mild symptoms of the infection, but added his vital signs remained stable.
He said Evangelista has been placed under strict isolation, and encouraged those who came in direct contact with him to go on self-quarantine at home and subject themselves to reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test.
He said the mayor coordinated with the Municipal Health Office for the conduct of contact-tracing and other necessary protocols.
“And despite being on isolation, Evangelista will continue working as the Municipal Mayor of Santo Tomas LGU — virtually presiding, and attending meetings, among other things, and to make necessary decisions in order to keep the Santo Tomas LGU full operational amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Operations of various offices have been suspended from October 22 to 23 “to ensure the safety of our LGU personnel and to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” as 20 employees came in direct contact with the mayor.
But work in offices related to disaster, emergency, rescue, health and social services remained uninterrupted, he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)