COVID-19 death toll in Caraga region climbs to 15

Published September 5, 2020, 9:56 AM

by Mike Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY – Health authorities here continued to appeal to all Caraganons to strictly abide by all health protocols and guidelines issued by the local authorities after 36 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, and two more deaths were reported Friday night in Caraga region.

“As of September 4, 2020, DOH Caraga reports receipt of 139 RT-PCR confirmatory results from the Butuan City, Northern Mindanao and Davao molecular laboratories where 36 specimens turned positive for the COVID-19 virus,” it said. 

Of the new 36 confirmed positive cases, 11 were close contacts of previously confirmed local transmission cases, nine were non-medical frontliners, seven were additional local transmission cases, six were health care workers, and three were locally stranded individuals (LSIs). 

Majority or 72 percent (26) belonged to the age bracket of 20-50 years old, while the youngest was 20 and the oldest 74 years old. As to sex distribution, 22 were female while 14 were male. 

The confirmed new cases were distributed in the following areas: Province of Agusan del Norte- Nasipit (1); Province of Agusan del Sur- Veruela (1), Cabadbaran City (1), Bislig City (2), and Butuan City (31). 

The confirmed cases in Butuan City were residents of the following barangays: Libertad (6), Holy Redeemer (4), Villa Kananga (4), Fort Poyohon (3), Maon (3), Ambago (1), Baan Km3 (1), Baan Riverside (1), Bonbon (1), J.P. Rizal (1), Limaha (1), Maibu (1), Obrero (1), Pagatpatan (1), Rajah Soliman (1), and San Vicente (1). 

As to the medical status of patients, 58 percent, or 21, were asymptomatic, 28 percent (10) had mild symptoms, eight persons (3) were severe and two were critically ill, who unfortunately died. 

To date, COVID-19 confirmed positive cases in Caraga region now totals to 625 with 59 percent (369) recoveries, 39 percent (241) active cases, and 15 deaths. 

The two reported deaths were from Butuan City. 

The first case was a 67-year-old male while the other was a 74-year-old female with pre-existing medical condition. Both had onset of COVID-19 related symptoms on the fourth week of August, and were brought to the hospital on August 26 and 27, respectively. The first case died hours upon admission while the second case two days after admission. 

With this development, residents in Butuan City were advised to follow all the health protocols and guidelines issued by the city government and health authorities to stop the spread of local transmission.

The Regional Task Force for Covid-19 One Caraga Shield (RTF-COCS) has approved the request of the city government of Butuan to place portions of 40 barangays under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) due to the continued increase of COVID-19 infections, including local transmissions.

“For Butuan City, stringent health measures must be done to halt the spread of COVID-19,” DOH 13 Regional Director D. Jose R. Llacuna, Jr. said. 

“Together with the Regional Task Force (RTF), we have agreed to implement actions to address the continued rise in cases and deaths,” he said. 

First, PNP and AFP committed to deploy more personnel especially in critical areas for strict enforcement of the minimum health standards in the community. Second, strengthening partnership with private sectors to provide half-way houses for our frontliners. Third, speed-up the hiring and creation of additional teams for contact tracing to immediately identify and isolate close contacts of confirmed cases and reduce further movement and transmission. 

“Next, implement plans to increase health care capacity and re-engineer the physical zoning for infection control in our health facilities to prevent cross-infection and protect both patient and health worker, the region’s health chief said. 

“The next few weeks is going to be challenging and we must work hastily to catch-up with this ongoing threat,” Llacuna added.