MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Caba, La Union Mayor Philip Crispino and his wife, councilor Donna Crispino, tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the couple announced in a statement on Friday, March 20.
They are the first cases in La Union, a northern Luzon province of almost 800,000 people.
“It is with great sadness that we publicly announce that we are positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) per DOH-RITM results as relayed by the DOH Center for Health Region 1,” read a statement posted on the Facebook page of Caba town.
The Crispino couple said they have been in self-quarantine for the last 16 days and only showed minor symptoms. The results were only released on Friday.
“We practiced self-protection measures but still we got contaminated with minor symptoms. This shows how easily the virus is spread. But thank God Almighty, we, Mayor Philip and Sanggunian Bayan Member Donna, are in very stable condition and in excellent health,” the statement said.
The local government is tracing the contacts of the couple.
La Union had been on alert for coronavirus before these two cases because of visits made by a positive case from Abra province. The patient was tested at the Lorma Medical Center in the capital San Fernando City after a temperature check showed he had fever. He was visiting his sick mother.
La Union was placed under community quaratine from March 16 to April 12. Classes in all levels were suspended.
Governor Francisco Emmanuel Ortega III said the province is not under lockdown but movements are restricted and a checkpoint was set up in its southernmost town, Rosario.
As of Friday, the Philippines has 230 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 8 recoveries and 18 deaths.
The global death toll, meanwhile, has reached 10,080, with 3,405 of the fatalities in Italy and 3,248 in China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau). The number of cases worldwide has risen to more than 232,000. The virus has spread to 158 countries. – with a report from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story said the positive case from Abra visited Naguillan town in La Union. He visited the the town of Naguillan in Abra.)