Batchmates of COVID-19 positive Fil-Aussie present themselves to DOH for testing

Published March 10, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Liezle Basa-Iñigo

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Fellow alumni of the Filipina-Australian, who visited this province for a reunion and contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), have started to present themselves for check up and monitoring by health authorities, according to Department of Health (DOH) Region 1 Director Valeriano Jesus Lopez.

Department of Health (DOH) Regional Director Valeriano Jesus Lopez said in a media briefing that  “Pangasinan remains Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) free.” .(Liezle Basa Inigo )
Department of Health (DOH) Regional Director Valeriano Jesus Lopez said in a media briefing that “Pangasinan remains Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) free.” (Liezle Basa Inigo / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Dumagsa na sila para makipag ugnayan sa DOH matapos na mabalitaan na sila ay nakasalamuha ng isang nagpositibo sa Australia na dumalo sa High School re union (They have started to come and coordinate with DOH after they learned that among them during the high school reunion was the Australian who turned out positive for the virus),” Lopez told The Manila Bulletin Tuesday, March 10.

He also said “almost 50 percent who had contact with the ‘balikbayan’ have shown up in Lingayen”.

Lopez also said contact tracing has been implemented to check and to monitor the persons who came in close contact with a COVID-19 positive Filipina who visited Pangasinan last February 22-23 for a high school homecoming.

Lopez said,Pangasinan Police are also helping them locate the others who attended reunion in an event center in Dagupan City.

“We’re trying to trace if there are any of those who were part of the reunion or acquaintance who have the symptoms. Initially mukhang asymptomatic naman lahat (it looks like they’re all asymptomatic,” Lopez said.

The subject and her husband rode a bus from Manila to Pangasinan on February 22, and later, attended a homecoming event in Dagupan City.

The couple slept at their family’s ancestral house in Lingayen in the evening. The following day, February 23, the couple took their breakfast in a resort in Lingayen then traveled back to Manila.

From February 24-28, the balikbayan couple stayed at a condominium in Quezon City, and checked in at a hotel in Pasay for two days (February 29, March 1) until their departure from Manila on March 2 where she reportedly developed cough.

Upon arrival to Australia on March 3, the New South Wales government confirmed the Filipina was positive of COVID-19.

Taking into consideration that the subject and her husband left Lingayen last February 23, the DOH official said the 14-day incubation period has already lapsed on March 8.

“This means that if the persons who came in close contact with the subject show no symptoms of the emerging virus then we assume we are safe,” Lopez said.

On the other hand, Pangasinan  Governor Amado Espino III has asked Pangasinenses to stay calm, noting that no (district) hospital in the province has recorded clustering of any flu-like cases or respiratory infection.

“Makinig po tayo sa mga may alam talaga. Panatilihin po nating malakas ang ating mga katawan : maghugas tayo ng mga kamay, mag exercise, at proper diet. Mga doctor po ang nakaka-alam nito… makinig po tayo sa kanila,” he said.

(Let’s listen to experts. Let’s keep ourselves fit, wash our hands, exercise, take the proper diet. The doctors are the ones who know about this, let’s all listen to them)

The governor also sought the support of the police force, led by Philippine National Police Provincial Director Redrico Maranan, in a briefing.

The briefing was attended by the chiefs of police of second district towns, Provincial Administrator Nimrod Camba, and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Rhodyn Lunchinvar Oro.

Meanwhile, Lingayen Mayor Leopoldo Bataoil said he was negative of COVID 19 according to result from RITM.

” Thank you to all for your prayers! If it was my time, I would be happy to leave this earth having served our people, but I will be bothered by my conscience if it was positive because I would have infected a lot with the nature of my job, touching people’s lives,” Bataoil posted in his Facebook account.

Bataoil said , he volunteered for RITM testing because of the reported COVID patient.

“Although, no symptoms in 14 days, I went thru it to allay the fears of my people. Thank God, now I can go on performing my work without any worry. I’ve been stressed for so many nights,”  Bataoil added.