No coronavirus death in Angeles City, says mayor

Jun A. Malig

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No coronavirus death in Angeles City, says mayor
Mayor Carmelo 'Pogi' Lazatin, Jr. issues the statement after a photo supposedly showing a casket being taken out of a hospital's COVID-19 isolation room was posted on Facebook and circulated, sowing fear among Angeles residents

PAMPANGA, Philippines – The Angeles City government assured its residents that the city remains “COVID-19- free” after a patient confined at the Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center (RLMMC) and classified as a “person under investigation” (PUI) passed away on Saturday, March 21.

A photo supposedly showing a casket with the patient’s body being taken out of the RLMMC’s COVID-19 isolation room was posted on Facebook and circulated, sowing fear among Angeles residents.

In a statement released also on Saturday night, Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin, Jr. said that Angeles City remains Covid-19 free.

The statement said that the 64-year-old male patient from Barangay Anunas died of “Acute Respiratory Failure secondary to Multiple Drug Resistant Tuberculosis” and not COVID-19, the disease brought by the novel coronavirus.

“We have the patient’s record. Since he [was] suffering from TB, he [had] the same symptoms of a person under investigation (PUI) of COVID 19. That [was] why we put him in isolation,” Dr. Froilan Canlas, officer-in-charge of the city hospital said.

Canlas said that the patient “was in RLMMC’s isolation room for six hours before he succumbed to death.”

Canlas said that the city hospital staff had to put the patient in the isolation room intended for COVID-19 patients because he was considered as a PUI after exhibiting symptoms similar to a coronavirus infection. (READ: When should you get tested for coronavirus?)

“Kahit PUI lang siya, kailangan sundin natin ang guidelines ng Department of Health,” he explained. (Even if he was only a PUI, we have to follow the guidelines from the Department of Health.)

Canlas said that they also had to put the patient’s body inside a sealed plastic bag and that no embalming must be done.

Lazatin appealed to business establishments that are not exempted under the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine to close shop and help limit the residents’ movement.

“Until now, may mga laundry shops na matitigas ang ulo at mga furniture shops (Until now, there are laundry shops and furniture shops who refuse to follow). I ordered the Business Permit and Licensing Division to revoke their business permits,” the mayor said. 

Angeles City has also imposed a 10-hour curfew to minors and tighened border closures. –

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