S. Cotabato identifies persons in contact with 1st COVID patient
KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato Apr. 2 (PIA) — South Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) has already identified all persons that have come in contact with the province’s first coronavirus positive case, now referred to as PH2173, since his arrival in the province.
They include 21 passengers of the bus he rode on from Koronadal City to Surallah and his brother who drove the tricycle that shuttled him from Surallah to his home in a barangay in Tboli, Hannah Ebeo, health education and promotion officer II, reported Wednesday.
“Tracing the passengers of the bus won’t be too difficult because he arrived here on March 16 when our public utility buses were already preparing passenger manifests. Informaton from the said bus company indicated that the specific trip only had 21 passengers because they had already enforced social distancing,” Ebeo said.
Information gathered by health personnel indicated that PH2173 is a 52-year-old male, a resident of Tondo, Manila for 21 years. He decided to come home to Tboli as the enhanced community quarantine was enforced.
PH 2173 was treated for pneumonia and pulmonary mass on February 23 and had follow-up checkup on March 13 at the Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital where he observed was congested with people.
“Around this time, the country already had local transmission of coronavirus. So, we consider the said hospital as source of his infection,” Ebeo said.
PH2173 traveled from Metro Manila to Cagayan de Oro on March 13 aboard a 2GO Ferry and arrived in Cagayan de Oro on March 15 where he took a bus to Koronadal City.
He arrived in Koronadal City at around 3:30 to 4:00 p.m. of March 16 and took a local bus to Surallah at around 4:30 p.m. From Surallah, he proceeded to Tboli on a tricycle with his brother as driver.
“We would like to inform the public that during his entire trip he observed reverse isolation and wore face mask. He protected himself because he knew he was weak and his immune system is compromised,” Ebeo said. Upon arrival in Tboli the patient did not hug his family and immediately isolated himself, she added.
On March 18, he was admitted at the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital as a patient under investigation after experiencing chronic cough and sudden fever. He was discharged on March 23 with final diagnosis indicated as pneumonia with moderate risk.
Since his exit from the SCPH, the patient is closely monitored as he continued to follow self-isolation and other health protocols. His family were placed under strict home quarantine.
Per monitoring, Ebeo added, the patient has been stable and has not developed signs and symptoms of COVID infection. Also, no one from his family members has experienced signs of respiratory illness.
South Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office, with the help of the bus company, has started contacting the passengers with PH2173 on his way to Surallah.
Cotact tracing of passengers of the ferry from Manila to Cagayan de Oro and the bus from Cagayan de Oro to Koronadal City is being handled by the Department of Health, Ebeo said.
PH2173 will again be tested for coronavirus disease on April 12, (DED/PIA XII)