By Nonoy Lacson
ZAMBOANGA CITY – The local government here has placed an entire barangay under total lockdown after one of its residents tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco confirmed in a press conference Tuesday night that the male patient, 29, flew in from Manila on March 13 onboard a Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight. He was a resident of Barangay Sinunuc, which is located in the west district of the city.
Climaco said man was the first confirmed COVID-19 patient from this city. She also clarified that the patient who died Saturday of diabetes in a hospital here was not a confirmed COVID-19 patient.
She said the man arrived from Manila at 5:45 a.m. last March 13. But two days after his arrival, he started manifesting mild symptoms of the disease.
On March 15, he consulted a local private hospital and was immediately considered as person under investigation (PUI) after he informed doctors that he has just arrived from Maila.
Swab specimen was also taken on March 17, which was immediately sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Manila. The result was later sent back here showing that the patient was positive for COVID-19.
“This is the very reason why we place the entire village under a total lock down and we prohibit residents from the village from leaving and entering the village,” Climaco told reporters Tuesday night.
“I also ordered the police to strictly implement the lockdown in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 to the adjacent villages,” Climaco added.
According to reports, the patients has been transferred to an isolation room at the former Lantaka Hotel in this city while medical personnel continued to monitor his health condition.
There were 29 persons under investigation (PUIs) in this city.
One of them died last Saturday due to diabetes. It was still unsure if he, too, was COVID-19 positive because the results have not been sent back to this city.
A total of 537 persons under monitoring (PUMs) in this city. However, according to the local health office here, most of them have already recovered.