By Bonita Ermac
ILIGAN CITY – The local government unit (LGU) and the Iligan Medical Society here confirmed one patient positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in a press conference at the City Mayor’s Office here Thursday (March 12).
The patient identified as PH40 was admitted to the Adventist Medical Center (AMC) on March 3 due to fever, cough, and shortness of breath, City Health Office (CHO) chief Dra. Cherlina Cañaveral said.
PH40 is 54 years old, male, and was referred from Iligan’s AMC to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro City, she said.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Leonel Quitos said the patient had been suffering fever, cough, and breathing difficulty for two weeks before he was confined at AMC. The patient was referred Quitos on March 7, when PH40 was no longer responding to antibiotics.
On March 8, PH40 was transported to Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro City where he was confirmed positive for COVID-19 on March 11.
Dr. Quitos, per advice from NMMC doctors, said PH40 is improving and his immediate relatives are asymptomatic.
Task Force COVID-19 is having difficulty tracing PH40’s contacts as he is hesitant to reveal his movements. PH40 worked in Pasig and has an office in San Juan in Manila, the epicenter of COVID-19 in the Philippines.
“The DOH has protocols on how to do contact tracing. The most important thing is for the public to cooperate,” Quitos said.
“Having said that. if you are questioned, it doesn’t mean that you are infected or what — it means that we are investigating,” he added.
Adventist Medical Center President Dr. Edgar Nadal said some 20 healthcare workers who were in contact with PH40 were quarantined.
“However, at this point, they are taken care of properly and all of them haven’t manifested any symptoms of COVID-19 virus,” Nadal said.
Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Jemar Vera Cruz, through the Sangguniang Panlungsod, will conduct an emergency session on Friday (March 13) to recommend to the local chief executive to suspend all classes in Iligan City.