GENERAL SANTOS CITY – At least 127 persons, including an official of the City Health Office (CHO), have been quarantined after being traced as direct and indirect contacts of a returning resident, who has tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Dr. Lalaine Calonzo, head of the CHO’s epidemiology and surveillance unit, confirmed that she went on self-quarantine, starting Friday, after being exposed to the male patient, who tested positive for the disease on August 5, based on confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.
Being in charge of the quarantine arrangements for returning residents, Calonzo said she had direct contact with the patient, but did not elaborate.
According to protocol, she will be required to undergo strict quarantine for 21 days, and swab collection for PCR testing.
Calonzo said the patient was given clearance to undergo home quarantine upon arrival from Manila early last week, and stayed in a designated isolation room.
He came home for his mother’s wake, and was subjected to PCR testing after he manifesting suspected symptoms and eventually turned out positive for the disease.
His companion, however, tested negative, she said.
Calonzo said the patient is in stable condition and under close observation by medical personnel of the St. Elizabeth Hospital here.
She said most of the traced contacts had visited the wake of the patient’s mother in Barangay City Heights.
Sixteen of them were identified as direct contacts, comprised of family members and relatives who reportedly met the patient upon arrival.
“They were all subjected to rapid antibody testing yesterday (Thursday) and came out negative,” Calonzo said in a radio interview on Friday afternoon.
She said all direct and indirect contacts, as well as the patient’s companion who came out negative in the PCR test, are under strict quarantine as a precautionary measure.
As of 6 p.m. on Friday, the city already recorded a total of 41 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with seven recoveries.
The CHO said no local transmission had been recorded in the area and all cases so far involved returning locally stranded individuals, overseas Filipino workers, and Authorized Person Outside Residence.