ISABELA, Philippines – A 44-year-old resident of Tuguegarao City, who travelled all the way from Manila to his home city, was recorded as the first coronavirus disease patient of Cagayan province and the Cagayan Valley Region as well.
The Department of Health (DOH) – Cagayan Valley said in a press briefing Saturday, March 21, the man designated as PH275 is a resident of Barangay Caritan Norte in Tuguegarao City.
DOH-Region 2 Officer-In-Charge Leticia Cabrera said PH275 was already coughing and had difficulty of breathing when he left Manila. He arrived in Tuguegarao on March 11.
Cabrera said DOH members of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit and personnel of the City Health Office of Tuguegarao were now conducting contact tracing.
The patient is now confined at the Cagayan Valley Medical Center.
“Since Cagayan Valley Medical Center only has the capability to handle the PUIs in the province, all patients will be transferred there from other hospitals to avoid the spread,” Dr. Glenn Mathew Baggao, Medical Center Chief, said in Filipino.
Baggao also clarified that the patient was alive, contrary to rumors on social media on Friday, March 20.
Meanwhile, Cabrera urged the public to cooperate with the efforts to locate all persons that need to be traced.
“We assure the public that all measures needed to combat the spread of this virus are being seriously undertaken. Strict infection and prevention protocols are being observed by the Cagayan Valley Medical Center and its personnel while caring for the patients, leaving no room for infection to occur,” she said.
The province of Cagayan has been placed under lockdown after President Rodrigo Duterte imposed an “enhanced” community quarantine in the entire Luzon Island.
As of Saturday, the Philippines has 307 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 13 recoveries, and 19 deaths. – Rappler.com
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