Baguio City records first coronavirus case

Frank Cimatu

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Baguio City records first coronavirus case
The 61-year-old Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) left Italy in early March, just as the coronavirus exploded in the European country

MANILA, Philippines – Baguio City recorded its first case of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after a 61-year-old Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) from Italy tested positive, a health official said.

The patient left Italy on March 2 just when the virus outbreak began in the European country. Italy has become the pandemic’s epicenter with 60,000 confirmed cases and more than 5,000 deaths. (READ: Italy sees signs of hope after slight drop in new virus deaths)


Baguio City’s patient is the second case in the Cordillera, the first being a 39-year-old OFW from Abra.

Both patients are now in stable condition in hospitals in Baguio City and La Union, according to Dr. Amelita Pangilinan, regional director of the Department of Health (DOH) – Cordillera.

Pangilinan said that the Baguio City OFW started manifesting COVID-19 symptoms like cough, cold, and a mild sore throat on March 7.

Dr. Donabelle Tubera-Panes, an epidemiologist with the City Health Office, said that they have talked to the patient’s daughter and they have done contact tracing.

Panes said that the patient left her house only twice and went to Tuba and Sablan towns in Benguet.

Panes said that they followed Mayor Benjamin Magalong’s directive to do contact tracing for the person under investigation (PUI) even before the test results came out.

PUI cases are those who either have a history of travel or close contact with a COVID-19 positive case.

“I believe our contact tracing on her was accurate and exhaustive,” Panes said.

Panes said that some of those contacted are now also considered PUIs. They are now under home quarantine.

Another 137 PUIs with slight symptoms are also on home quarantine. 

Pangilinan said that Baguio City recorded 4 more serious PUI cases. One of them, however, passed away on March 18 before her coronavirus test results came out.

She was a 55-year-old female who went to Manila, Quezon City and Zambales and manifested COVID-19 symptoms on March 10.

Two others are still in the hospital: a 67-year-old female who came from Manila last March 6 and a 31-year-old male from Taguig and manifested symptoms last March 16.

Another PUI case is a 55-year-old male who came from Manila. He tested positive in the initial test in Baguio. He was transferred to a Makati hospital. –


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