Zamboanga del Norte has recorded its first local transmission of COVID-19, the provincial coronavirus task force said on Wednesday night, September 16.
Task Force COVID-19 Zamboanga del Norte said in a statement that the first locally transmitted case in the province is a 45-year-old female resident of Sibuco town.
The woman was in direct contact with the wife of a COVID-19 patient – a 44-year-old authorized person outside of residence (APOR).
“With this being reported, we are very sad to confirm the first case of local transmission in the Province,” the provincial task force said.
The province’s first locally transmitted case is its 39th COVID-19 patient.
“Patient 39 is currently stable and already in quarantine, contract tracing is still going-on,” the provincial task force said.
Dr Derilyn Edding, head of the Sibuco Rural Health Unit and vice chair of Sibuco’s COVID-19 task force, told Rappler that the municipal task force had already imposed a lockdown in 3 barangays following the latest cases.
“Even before the provincial IATF’s an announcement, our actions were already responsive to a local transmission situation,” Edding said in a phone interview on Wednesday.
Contract tracing is still going on as the local task force closed Sibuco’s borders with neighboring Sirawai town, also in Zamboanga del Norte; and with Zamboanga City, Sibuco’s main economic partner.
Sibuco’s Jose Rizal Memorial State University-External Studies Unit (JRMSU-ESU) also suspended operations and told its almost 600 students to stay home.
JRMSU-ESU administrator Dr Sowaib Hamin said that their school buildings and other facilities were being disinfected.
Sibuco is a first class town with a population of more than 36,000.
Zamboanga del Norte, which has a population of over 1 million based on the 2015 census, recorded its first coronavirus case on May 4. – Rappler.com
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