Iloilo records 1st coronavirus case

Rhick Lars Vladimer Albay
Iloilo records 1st coronavirus case
Iloilo's first COVID-19 patient is a 65-year-old man with no travel history to countries and Philippine cities with coronavirus cases


ILOILO CITY, Philippines – Iloilo recorded its first novel coronavirus case on Saturday, March 21.

The province’s first confirmed case was announced in a news briefing of Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, and the Department of Health Region VI.

DOH-Western Visayas director Marilyn Convocar said the patient is a 65-year-old man with no travel history to countries and Philippine cities with coronavirus cases. He is the second COVID-19 case in Western Visayas.

The patient, who hails from Guimbal town in southern Iloilo, had cough and a fever on March 6, and was brought to a hospital in Iloilo City on March 13, when his symptoms persisted.

Considering his age, he was immediately tested for COVID-19, but the test results were only released on Saturday,  Convocar said.

Convocar said the man might have contracted the infection from his children who had recently visited Japan, suggesting that some of his family members might be asymptomatic carriers of the new virus.

The DOH official said the patient’s family would also be subjected to testing, and that the DOH-6 had begun contact tracing. 

Meanwhile, Treñas announced that Iloilo City will order 2,500 test kits from an accredited South Korean supplier approved by the Food and Drug Administration, at a cost of P5.5 million. He said this will be paid for by donations from Henry Sy and Chusuey of Hennan Resorts (P3.5 million), Iloilo Supermart and the Que family ( P1 million), and Edgar Injap Sia (P1 million).

“These will be ordered from South Korea and as soon as we have an available and accredited laboratory in Iloilo City, kits will be available for testing,” the mayor said in a Facebook post.

Treñas earlier ordered a lockdown on Iloilo City on Friday, March 20 through Executive Order (EO) 55-2020. This was prompted by the death of a 57-year-old person under investigation (PUI) in an Iloilo City hospital earlier this week. (READ: Man probed for coronavirus dies while waiting for test results)

The Philippines has 307 confirmed coronavirus cases and 19 deaths due to the new virus as of Saturday, March 21.


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