165 close contacts of COVID-19 patient under quarantine in GenSan

Published August 3, 2020, 4:40 PM

by Philippine News Agency

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The city government has quarantined 165 more residents, who were traced as indirect contacts of a locally-stranded individual (LSI) who tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) several days after being released from isolation, officials said on Monday.

Dr. Lalaine Calonzo, head of the City Health Office’s (CHO) epidemiology and surveillance unit, said the additional contacts were already undergoing strict isolation and close monitoring by health personnel.

Calonzo said they have so far traced a total of 225 individuals, mostly residents of Barangay Calumpang here, who were believed to have had close contact with the patient.

One of the traced individuals was a resident of nearby Alabel town, Sarangani province who returned home last July 29.  

Last week, CHO initially identified at least 60 direct contacts of the female patient, who was confirmed to have visited a local bar last July 21 along with her friends.

The LSI already completed her 14-day mandatory quarantine when she manifested symptoms and turned positive for COVID-19 last week.

“We completed the tracing of up to the fourth level of contacts of the primary patient and places she had visited,” Calonzo told reporters.

Ryan Dupalco, chairman of Barangay Calumpang, said nine of the patient’s direct contacts already came out negative in rapid antibody testing, but will remain under isolation for 21 days.

“All of them are healthy and have not manifested any symptom of the disease as of this time,” he said in an interview.    

Those who show symptoms would be subjected to confirmatory reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests (RT-PCR), he added.

Dupalco said they were prepared to implement a targeted lockdown in case any of the quarantined residents will turn out positive of the disease.

As an additional precautionary measure, the official said the barangay hall closed down for 21 days.

He said those mandated to undergo home quarantine are regularly monitored by personnel from the CHO and volunteers of the Barangay Covid Control Force.

As of Monday morning, the CHO has recorded a total of 32 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with seven recoveries, all involving returning LSIs and overseas Filipino workers.

The 25 active cases, all in stable condition, are currently admitted at the city’s COVID-19 Center and undisclosed private hospitals.