CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Two women being probed for the novel coronavirus disease died on Wednesday, March 18, within 24 hours after that they were brought to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) from different hospitals in the region.
“The women died less than 24 hours after they were brought here,” NMCC chief Dr Jose Chan announced in a news briefing on Thursday, March 19.
NMMC doctors said the two women had severe acute respiratory Illness, and that they managed to get a specimen from only one of the women for COVID-19 testing. The test result was not yet known.
“We were not able to take sample from the other woman as we only have had hours after she was brought here when she expired,” Chan said.
He declined to specify where the women came from but said they were from different areas and had no links to previous patients in the NMMC classified as persons under investigation (PUIs).
Chan said that they instructed the families of the deceased to follow the Department of Health guidelines in burying their dead, which is “preferably by cremation.”
Under the DOH guidelines, COVID-19 patients and suspected cases who died should be buried within 24 hours, the remains should be placed in an airtight container, and there should be no viewing during the wake.
The two women’s death happened a day after another PUI – this time, in Marawi City – died ahead of the release of his test result. Following the latest development, Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno said he would place the city under community quarantine and would urge the Misamis Oriental government and nearby provinces to agree on an expanded quarantine “for operational efficiency.”
On March 14, Mindanao recorded its first COVID-19 death, a 54-year-old native of Marawi City who moved to Pasig City following the Marawi siege in 2017. The man was confined at the NMCC in Cagayan de Oro City.
The Philippines has recoreded 202 COVID-19 cases, 17 deaths, and 7 recovered as of Wednesday. – Rappler.com