DAVAO CITY – Davao Occidental Gov. Claude Bautista announced Tuesday the first case of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the province.
In a radio interview, Bautista said the patient is a 65-year-old woman from Malita town who had pre-existing hypertension and heart problems. She was admitted at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) on April 30 and died on May 5.
“We are still tracing about her exposure because she doesn’t have a travel history in Digos City or Davao City where there are positive cases. We suspect that she got the infection during her stay at the hospital, but we are not certain on that for we are still looking for the possible cause of transmission,” he said.
A lockdown in the barangay where the patient resided will be implemented, the governor said, adding her entire household has also been put under strict quarantine.
“We already conducted swabbing on the immediate family of the patient,” he added.
Bautista also ordered massive rapid testing to some 2,800 residents of the said barangay on Wednesday.
“We will conduct massive testing in the barangay for us to see the possible cause. We are not really certain as to where she got the infection,” he added.
Bautista said the existing community quarantine measures will further be heightened, assuring that the provincial government will extend assistance to the family of the patient.
“For the past two months, we are thankful that we remained Covid-free. But now we already have a case. We assure that we will really look into this and further protect the province,” he said.
Davao Occidental was placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) upon the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), which tagged the province as a “low risk” area in the region.
“Since the implementation of the GCQ, we somehow loosen our measures but we continued the social distancing and follow the rules set by the IATF,” Bautista said.
Meanwhile, Bautista thanked Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte and other local officials in the region for helping facilitate the return of Davao Occidental residents stranded in various parts of Region 11.
Bautista said the returning residents will be subjected to rapid testing and required to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine period in the patient care facilities throughout its five local government units.
“We are trying to help Mayor Sara Duterte to decongest Davao City from non-residents by way of getting our people stranded in the city where we will take care of them,” he said. (ia/PNA)