GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 19 May) – Two municipal councilors and 11 barangay chairpersons of Surallah town in South Cotabato have been quarantined after being identified as close contacts of another local government official who has contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Surallah Mayor Antonio Bendita said Wednesday the concerned officials were confirmed to have attended a meeting last week reportedly called by South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. and Koronadal City Vice Mayor Peter Miguel.
He said the gathering, which was held in a hotel in Koronadal City on May 12, happened a day before Miguel tested positive for Covid-19.
Miguel has been admitted in a private hospital here since May 14 and exhibited various symptoms, including “cough with blood” as he personally confirmed through a video message.
“It (meeting) was conducted in a small and enclosed space so we advised them to undergo home quarantine and avoid contact with other people, including their families,” the mayor said in a radio interview.
Bendita said the quarantined officials were scheduled to undergo rapid tests starting Wednesday as recommended by their Municipal Health Office (MHO).
He said those who will turn out positive for the disease will be isolated in a facility and subjected to confirmatory Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction testing.
The close monitoring and 14-day quarantine will continue for those who will come out negative, he said.
The mayor said the MHO and the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office have already provided assistance to the concerned officials.
He said the number one councilors of the concerned barangays have assumed as officers-in-charge to ensure that their operations will not be hampered.
Surallah and other localities in the province are currently on alert due to the increasing community transmitted cases of Covid-19.
South Cotabato recorded 77 new cases of the disease on Tuesday, bringing the active cases in the area to 577, the highest in Region 12 (Soccsksargen)
The confirmed infections in the province since last year already reached a total of 2,996, with 72 related deaths and 2,347 recoveries. (MindaNews)