Returning architect grad new Covid-19 patient in CDO

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The newest coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patient in this city is an aspiring architect who has been on quarantine since he returned here from Cebu City early this week, health officials said Saturday.

Dr. Joselito Retuya, the resident epidemiologist at the City Health Office (CHO), said the 26-year-old patient arrived here on May 19 and was transferred to one of the city’s patient care centers after showing mild symptoms. But recent report from the Department of Health Region 10 (DOH-10) Saturday afternoon revealed that the patient originally from Iligan City.

Swab samples were collected from the patient on May 21 and the result came out the following day, Retuya said, crediting the newly installed laboratory at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) for the quick release of the result.

Health workers are currently monitoring the condition of the patient who is in an isolation unit, he said. He also said they are prepared to facilitate the patient’s transfer to NMMC, the Covid-19 referral medical facility, should his health status escalate.

“NMMC is always ready if ever his condition will progress,” Retuya said, adding that the patient is given medication for his cough.

At present, Retuya said they are conducting the contact tracing of those who came in contact with the patient, especially during his stay in Cebu and during the voyage.

Mayor Oscar Moreno said the patient was in Cebu City to undergo a review for his board examination for architecture.

Moreno said residents should not worry because the patient was not able to go out or return to their residence after he disembarked from the ship as he was immediately taken to the isolation center.

Dr. Lorraine Nery, CHO head, said this is the only active case in the city as of Saturday.

Cagayan de Oro City has recorded 260 suspected and four probable cases.

“Since March 30, we have monitored new arrivals in the city and did active surveillance. We give importance to it because we are anticipating the possibility that infections may enter the city,” Nery said.

Meanwhile, Moreno said he expects more laboratories operational by June after representatives of the World Health Organization conduct an inspection to assess equipment and manpower to ensure that they are up to standard.

Dr. Ian Gonzales, DOH-10 cluster head for infectious diseases, underscored the establishment of additional testing laboratories to boost the city’s surveillance and isolation capabilities.

Gonzales also warned that a premature lifting of quarantine protocols could increase the city’s vulnerability to the highly contagious Covid-19.

The NMMC has started operating its testing center since May 21 using the GeneXpert, a machine previously used to detect tuberculosis but was modified to test swab samples.

So far, the NMMC machine has tested at least 25 swab samples from persons suspected of having contracted Covid-19. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

The Philippine News Agency is a web-based newswire service of the Philippine government under the supervision of the News and Information Bureau (NIB) of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

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