KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato. Apr. 9 (PIA) - South Cotabato has recorded its third COVID positive case but health officials here clarified that the patient has clinically recovered.
Provincial health officer Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr. and Koronadal City Health Office physician Dr. Stephen Mortera officially confirmed South Cotabato's new COVID-19 case in a press conference at the Provincial Capitol Wednesday afternoon.
Dr. Mortera also affirmed that the person, identified as PH3772, is Koronadal City's first COVID-19 positive case.
Dr. Aturdido revealed that PH3772 is a 59 year-old male who had history of travel from Tacloban to Cebu where he took a flight to Davao City on March 8, 2020. From Davao City, he was fetched on a private vehicle to Koronadal City.
On March 9, he developed flu-like symptoms and underwent outpatient consultation.
PH3772 was admitted in a hospital in South Cotabato on March 20 and was discharged on March 26 "with improved health" and has since been subjected to strict home isolation and strict monitoring.
"According to the NDP (Nurse Develoopment Project) nurse assigned to monitor the patient, PH3772 has religiously isolated himself at home," Dr. Aturdido said.
Dr. Aturdido noted that the patient as well as the persons he has come in close contact with since his arrival in Davao City have been in home quarantine for more than two weeks.
In fact, said Dr. Mortera, "the patient is scheduled for specimen collection today for his retesting."
Dr. Aturdido also belied rumors making rounds on social media that PH3772 was in a mall when he was informed of the result.
"It is not true that he was inside KCC (Mall of Marbel) when we called him about the result," Aturdido said. "The patient was at home, still in self-quarantine, when we informed him that he was positive for the virus."
Dr. Mortera added that those who have come in close contact with the patient had already completed their mandatory 14-day quarantine. Intensive contact-tracing was immediately done at the initial workup with the patient, he said.
"To the public, especially to the people in Koronadal City, this is not a reason to panic. What we should be concerned with is to protect ourselves from getting the coronavirus disease," Dr. Aturdido said. "Practice social or physical distancing at all times. Doing otherwise can lead to infection with COVID-19."
Dr. Aturdido told the press that the IPHO has already contacted the Epidemiology Bureau of the Department of Health for the contact-tracing in PH3772's travel from Tacloban to Cebu and Davao International Airport.
In a separate press conference following the official announcement, Koronadal City Mayor Eliordo Ogena announced stricter quarantine measures effective Monday.
These will include requiring all residents of the city to wear face masks or improvised face shields when leaving their homes for work or to buy essentials.
He will also carry out clustering scheme to lessen contact and limit people,especially in the urban center,
"On Monday I will sign a new executive order to implement these new precautionary and safety measures against the COVID-19 threat," Mayor Ogena said. (DED-PIA XII)