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COVID update: 8 patients test negative in Cagayan de Oro

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Eight patients admitted at the state-run Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) here tested negative for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), health authorities said Thursday.

Dr. Bernard Julius Rocha, Medical Specialist II of NMMC, said the eight were in close contact with the 21-year-old Covid-19 positive patient who died last May 6. The deceased patient figured in a vehicular accident on April 19, before showing symptoms of the virus.

Rocha also said the eight patients were transferred to the hospital’s Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Disease (ERID) unit, swabbed, and quarantined as part of precautionary measures after the deceased was confirmed to be infected by the virus.

As this developed, this City’s Health Office, through its head, Dr. Joselito Retuya, is calling on the public to cooperate in the contact-tracing for the 61-year-old patient who also tested positive of the virus and died on May 5.

He said those who were in places where the patient roamed prior to her being admitted to the NMMC on May 1, should contact barangay health authorities.

Based on the data provided by Retuya, the patient mostly moved near her residence in Barangay Carmen, and even helped in distributing relief packs between April 11 and 20. He said the patient started to show symptoms on April 26.

“Beginning April 26 to May 1, her daughter said she was already under home quarantine. Her son-in-law brought her to NMMC on May 1. She was taken a swab sample on May 3, and the result that came out positive came out May 6, but she’s already dead,” he said.

Dr. Ian Gonzales, Infectious Diseases cluster head of the Department of Health in Region 10, is also undergoing 14-day quarantine as a preemptive measure after he personally met the wife and child of PH6783 from Pinikitan, Barangay Camaman-an who died lately after being tested positive of the virus.

With the number of Covid-19 patients increasing to seven as of May 6, Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vicente Emano has appealed to the Region 10 Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to reconsider elevating the province and the city from general community quarantine (GCQ) to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to stop further contagion of Covid-19.

Although Cagayan de Oro City is an independent local government not under Misamis Oriental province, its political boundaries are closely knitted. This city is situated at the center of the province.

“As epicenter of trade for Region 10, this city must undergo enhanced community quarantine because of alarming number of Covid-19 positive that already accounted to seven,” Emano said

The IATF has yet to issue a statement on Emano’s appeal.

Meanwhile, City Councilors Edgar Cabanlas, Teodulfo Lao and Enrico Salcedo are also considering an ECQ and have prepared a proposal to the IATF to be discussed in the next regular session. The three councilors are known allies of City Mayor Oscar Moreno.

In the meantime, both the city and province follow the Executive Order (EO) 112 or the omnibus guidelines in implementing the GCQ, as signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

However, Emano said during a radio interview on Thursday that issuing of travel passes will still be implemented on those entering the province.

Moreno, on the other hand, reiterated his stand that upgrading to ECQ rests on the decision of the IATF, and it is not vested on the local government. (PNA)

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