Coronavirus patient in CdO hospital “improving”

THE 54-year old coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patient at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) in Cagayan de Oro City is “improving,” according to Chief of Hospital Jose Chan. “He’s improving… We’re treating him as a case of pneumonia… but pneumonia of COVID-19 will be longer, three to six weeks,” Mr. Chan said in a media briefing streamed on the city government’s social media page. The male patient, the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Mindanao, has no recent travel abroad but previously worked in Pasig City, where there are nine confirmed cases as of March 11. He first showed symptoms of the disease in late February and was first admitted to a hospital in Iligan City. He was transferred to the NMMC on March 7. Department of Health-Northern Mindanao Regional Director Adriano P. Suba-an said contact tracing is underway. “The DoH is conducting contact tracing and heightened surveillance through the barangay health emergency response teams… hospital, local disaster risk reduction and management councils, and the rest of the government is ready to respond,” Mr. Suba-an said in the same briefing. He added that they will be implementing new or other protocols based on directives from the national agencies. Mayor Oscar S. Moreno, for his part, called for calm as he stressed that the city and other local governments in the region have been actively taking steps to address the coronavirus threat. “We have actually been doing the work to ensure the prevention, preparation, etc. since early January… Every morning we do briefings (on the COVID-19), we know that this is not an ordinary time… things have changed (with the confirmed case in the region) and we have to respond. We’re confident we can overcome this.”

Davao City mayor on self-quarantine after Manila trip, meeting with Gatchalian


DAVAO CITY Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is undergoing self-quarantine after returning from an official trip on Wednesday in Metro Manila, where she also had lunch with Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian. Mr. Gatchalian has also gone into isolation for having come into contact with a patient confirmed to have the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during a Senate hearing. In a press statement released by the City Information Office Thursday, Ms. Carpio said she met with Mr. Gatchalian to discuss “important matters.” “While Mayor Sara has not suffered from flu-like symptoms, she chose to undergo self-quarantine to protect others if she may be found to be sick in the next few days. She is now confined in an isolated bedroom at her residence and will continue to work through emails, messaging, and videotelecon,” the statement said. It added that an employee of the mayor has been placed as a person under monitoring by the City Health Office after “being unwell last night.” — Carmelito Q. Francisco

Screening tent

GENERAL SANTOS City Mayor Ronnel C. Rivera has clarified that the tent set up outside a medical facility serves as a screening facility, not a quarantine area, for persons exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus disease. He made the statement on Wednesday to counter “fake news” circulating on social media. “This is where our screening process will take place. All suspected cases will be further investigated here before declaring them as PUI (person under investigation) or PUM (monitoring). This is to make sure that there will be no suspected cases, PUM or PUI, entering the Emergency Room of our city hospital,” he said. The mayor also noted that the tent was installed early February.