The Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) in Western Visayas (Region 6) on Saturday confirmed the first positive case of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Iloilo Province.
The patient is a 65-year-old male from Guimbal town and is admitted to a hospital here, Dr. Marlyn Convocar, DOH-CHD 6 regional director, said in a press conference.
Convocar said the patient is believed to have contact with relatives with travel history in Japan.
The patient has started to manifest symptoms like cough and fever on March 6 and was admitted to the hospital on March 13.
A specimen was collected from the patient and sent for testing on the same day he was admitted.
“The official result was received this morning (on Saturday),” she said.
She said the patient is in unstable condition as he has concomitant ailments.
She said all persons who had close contact with the patient are considered persons under monitoring (PUMs) if they manifest no signs and symptoms, and patients under investigation (PUIs) to the close contact who has signs and symptoms.
A lockdown cannot yet be declared in the village where the patient resides as they had not met the criteria of having two persons positive for the disease, she said.
“Based on the issuance of the central office, we can only declare a lockdown if there are two positive cases in barangay, the same with the municipality. If they can meet the definition, then we will declare the barangay as a quarantine area,” she said.
Dr. Mary Jane Juanico, head of DOH CHD 6’s Infectious Disease Section, appealed to the public to be truthful in their health declaration.
“We encourage the public that if they seek consultation, they need to disclose their travel history or if they had close contact,” she said, adding that being honest with information will lead to proper management of the case and safety of health workers.
Although the DOH cannot disclose the hospital where the patient was admitted, Juanico assured that health practitioners attending to the patient use personal protective equipment.
The patient in Iloilo was the second Covid-19 positive case in Western Visayas.
The first case was a 56-year-old male resident of Bacolod City with travel history to London. The patient is in stable condition.
Following the announcement of the DOH, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas has ordered taxis and tricycles will no longer be allowed to operate beyond the 8 p.m. curfew.
Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. also reiterated his appeal to Ilonggos to practice self-restraint, have patience and be still to avoid the further spread of the disease. (PNA)