Cases of local transmission continue to rise in Soccsksargen

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (PNA) – The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) local transmissions has continued to increase in parts of Region 12 (Soccsksargen), with at least 16 new infections on Monday traced to active patients.

This, as the Department of Health in Region 12 (DOH-12) reported 23 additional cases of the disease in the region on Monday night based on the results of confirmatory reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing.

Arjohn Gangoso, DOH-12 health education, and promotion officer, said 17 of the new cases were from South Cotabato province, three from Sarangani, two from this city, and one from North Cotabato.

“Based on the validation conducted by rural health units, 16 of the patients were traced to have had exposure to confirmed cases,” he said in a report.

Four of them have travel history to areas with recorded local transmission while the status of three others is for further investigation, he said.

Of the four patients with travel history, Gangoso said two were locally stranded individuals (LSIs), who returned home from Manila and Cebu, while the two others were fish traders, who had exposure at the fishport complex here.

Gangoso said two deaths due to COVID-19 complications were recorded in the region on Monday, bringing the total fatalities so far to 12.

He said this city posted its sixth confirmed death since last week, a 68-year-old male who succumbed to “multi-organ failure due to sepsis, COVID-19 pneumonia, septic shock and high-risk community-acquired pneumonia.”

A 45-year-old female from Polomolok town, South Cotabato died of COVID-19 complications, including community-acquired pneumonia, bronchial asthma in acute exacerbation and pulmonary tuberculosis.

As of Monday night, the number of confirmed cases in Region 12 already reached a total of 641, with 361 recoveries.

Gangoso said the agency has been closely monitoring localities with reported cases of local transmission and assisting rural health units in terms of contact-tracing and containment activities.

COVID-19 local transmission has been recorded since last month in parts of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato City and this city.

A number of cases were traced to the fishport complex in Barangay Tambler that had been considered a “hotspot” for the disease.