LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte – The province of Ilocos Norte has recorded its first coronavirus disease (COVID-19) death, according to Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc.
Manotoc confirmed this in a press briefing and said that the first COVID-19 fatality in the province was a 62-year-old female with pre-existing comorbidity from Barangay 9 San Lorenzo, Sarrat, Ilocos Norte.
The patient was admitted at the Sarrat Rural Health Unit (RHU) where she tested positive for COVID-19 on August 21. She was Sarrat’s first confirmed COVID-19 case and Ilocos Norte’s first COVID -19 related death.
As of August 29, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ilocos Norte has already reached at 53.
Manotoc said the provincial health office, as well as contact tracers, have been exerting all their efforts to determine the exposure of the female fatality, who was said to have transferred from one hospital to another before she was finally confirmed to have been infected by the coronavirus at the Sarrat RHU.
As such, the governor asked the local residents, who may have had exposure to the patient, to come out, and to cooperate with the contact tracers for public health safety.
He underscored the importance of discipline to stop the spread of the virus. He also ensured that protocol violators will be arrested, saying: “We like people to be careful and considerate and not be overly worried.”
According to Ilocos Norte’s public health consultant, Dr. Norman Rabago, one of the best strategies to contain the spread of the coronavirus was to go on 14-day self-quarantine.
To ensure the safety of the residents of Sarrat town, the local government unit (LGU) has closed the RHU for three days starting on Saturday.
This was to give way to disinfection activities at the health facility.
Meanwhile, Sarrat town Mayor Remigio Medrano had issued on Friday an executive order, declaring an extended lockdown of at least 18 sitios or portions of Barangays 8 San Antonio, 9 San Lorenzo, 10 San Miguel, 11 Sta. Rosa, 12 San Bernabe, and 16 Sto. Santiago to assure the health safety of the village folks.
“We pray for sobriety and peace of mind. Your local government unit is doing its best to respond swiftly and efficiently, 24/7,” said Medrano.