Koronadal Mayor tests positive for COVID-19;  remains in ‘good condition’

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 11 April) —  Koronadal City Mayor Eliordo Ogena was admitted in a hospital here on Saturday night after testing positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)  but remains in “good condition.”

The mayor announced in his Facebook post on Saturday afternoon that he contracted the disease based on the results of Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing after earlier exhibiting suspected symptoms.

No vehicles move around the rotunda in Koronadal City on Sunday, 19 April 2020. Commonly called the “round ball,” the rotunda is a major landmark in a city that is implementing a “No Movement Sunday” to prevent the spread of COVID-19. MindaNews photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

“To all my beloved Koronadalenos, I am saddened to inform you that I am positive for COVID-19. But don’t you worry because I am in good condition,” he said.

He said he has been in isolation and following the necessary protocols to ensure the safety of his family and the city government employees.

In a radio interview, Ogena said he was advised by his personal doctor to undergo RT-PCR testing, the third time since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic last year,  after experiencing high fever on Friday night.

He also has cough but could not determine if it was directly related to the disease as he had it for several years already due to a heart-related condition, in which he had bypass surgery in 2007.

The mayor said his doctor recommended that he should be in hospital isolation as precautionary measure.

“My fever has already subsided and I am in good condition. So far, so good, I’m healthy and strong, and eating well,” he said prior to his hospital admission.

Ogena said he has no idea yet as to how and where he was possibly exposed to the virus but admitted that he attended several activities, including a meeting of the mayor’s league last April 7 and several other events hosted by the city government in the past days.

The local government’s Facebook page showed the mayor visiting a radio station Friday morning for its weekly radio program.

“By nature of my position as mayor, it is my obligation to go around and attend to the needs of the people,” Ogena said.

The mayor assured that the operations and services of the city government will remain unhampered. He designated Vice Mayor Peter Miguel as the acting mayor and Rene Jumilla, the city administrator, as officer-in-charge of his office.

Dr. Edito Vego, acting head of the City Health Office, said they already conducted disinfection at the mayor’s office as well as other units and facilities at the city.

He said extensive contact-tracing activities are ongoing and they advised individuals who had engagements with the mayor to undergo isolation and quarantine.

Vego said all identified close contacts who would manifest suspected signs and symptoms of COVID-19 will be subjected to swab tests.

“This shows that COVID-19 is just in our midst and everyone should always take the necessary precaution by following the minimum health protocols, especially the wearing of face mask and face shield, and observance of safe physical distancing,” he said.

The confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city already reached a total of 852 as of Saturday night, with 19 deaths but 778 of the patients have fully recovered.

The active cases increased to 55 after the detection of 13 new infections on Saturday.  (MindaNews)