By Jhon Aldrin Casinas
San Juan City now has nine confirmed COVID-19 patients, Mayor Francis Zamora said Friday.
“As of March 13, 2020, 2:30 p.m., San Juan has nine confirmed COVID-19 patients,” Zamora said, adding that “all are currently admitted in hospitals and are in stable condition.”
The mayor did not disclose additional information about the lone latest patient, who was added to the eight COVID-19 cases confirmed earlier.
He also did not say if the new case was included in the latest tally of confirmed cases of COVID-19 announced by the Department of Health (DOH).
As of 4 p.m. Friday, there were 52 cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines after the DOH announced three more cases on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Zamora issued a statement Friday after reports of a 51-year-old woman with COVID-19 allegedly tried to escape treatment after she found out she tested positive for the disease.
The reports, which cited a police official, said that authorities chased after the female patient for two hours before she was convinced to allow herself to be confined in an another hospital.
Asked for a confirmation, San Juan City Police chief Col. Jaime Santos said he will not answer questions about the matter because the mayor has released a statement about it.
In his statement, the mayor said the woman went to a private hospital she preferred to be confined in when it was confirmed that she tested positive for COVID-19.
Zamora said the woman was included in the earlier eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city.
“However, the hospital could not accommodate her anymore so the City Health Office and the PNP (Philippine National Police) escorted her to a different hospital for immediate treatment,” he said.
In a separate phone interview, the mayor said it took a while for the city health personnel and police officers to convince the patient to come with them because she insisted on being admitted to the hospital she preferred.
“The personnel who accompanied the patient were wearing personal protective equipment so they would not be infected with the disease,” Zamora told the Manila Bulletin.
He said the patient is “now in stable condition and receiving proper care and treatment.”
The mayor added that the patient is currently confined at a government hospital outside the city.
On Thursday, the city government confirmed a new case of COVID-19 in the city, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to eight.
Later that night, the DOH announced the death of Patient No. 5 who was identified as a 62-year-old Filipino male who frequently visited a prayer hall in San Juan City.
The male patient was initially confined at Cardinal Santos Medical Center, before he was transferred to the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine.
His 59-year-old wife, considered Patient No. 6, has died of “acute respiratory distress syndrome due to severe pneumonia secondary to COVID-19,” the DOH said.