A 62-year-old man from a town in northern Negros Oriental has tested positive of the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
This was confirmed at a press briefing Wednesday night at the Provincial Health Office (PHO) here by Dr. Socrates Villamor, provincial chief of the Department of Health (DOH), Dr. Liland Estacion, assistant provincial health officer, and Capitol Public Information Officer Bimbo Miraflor.
The officials said they received the test results of throat swab samples of the patient from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Metros Manila late Wednesday afternoon.
The patient is now isolated and under intensive care at the Silliman University Medical Center (SUMC) here after he was diagnosed with severe acute respiratory symptoms and had difficulty breathing.
He is the first positive Covid-19 case in the province and among the four patients under investigation (PUIs) that was reported by Capitol authorities earlier Wednesday.
He had no history of overseas travel but had returned to Dumaguete from Metro Manila last March 1st onboard a Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight.
Upon arrival here, he proceeded to his hometown for a few days but sought medical attention on March 7 at the Ace Dumaguete Doctors Hospital here after exhibiting symptoms associated with Covid-19.
Miraflor said that on March 10, upon request by his family, he was transferred to the SUMC.
Contact tracing immediately commenced this evening and health and Capitol authorities will be proceeding to the patient’s hometown on Thursday to also start contacting people who had come into contact with him, Estacion said.
Authorities have also obtained a manifesto from PAL to identify the passengers who were onboard the same flight with the patient on his return to Dumaguete, she said.
Villamor, meanwhile, said that medical and health care workers who have come into contact with the patient are now also being monitored.
A meeting is scheduled Thursday with the DOH, PHO, and all the private and government hospitals here, he said.
Miraflor said the provincial government “is on top of the situation” while the doctors appealed to the public to stay calm and cooperate to prevent a local transmission.
Villamor said as of now, the patient cannot be described as a local transmission case.
A second confirmatory test of throat swab samples from the patient will be requested although it was not immediately known how soon the RITM can send back the laboratory results considering the number of Covid-19 suspect cases they are also handling, he added. (PNA)