GENERAL SANTOS CITY (PNA) – The mayor of Malapatan town in Sarangani province has tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The results of a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test came out positive for Mayor Salway Sambo Jr. on Tuesday, Malapatan Health Officer Dr. Diomedes Remitar said.
Sumbo was the first local chief executive in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) who was reported to have contracted the disease.
The mayor, who is confined in an undisclosed hospital, was symptomatic, but was in stable condition, Remitar said, adding that extensive contact-tracing was being undertaken to target individuals who were closely engaged with Sumbo in the past several days.
They include his family members, personnel of the mayor’s office, and other municipal officials, he said.
“We already identified 48 close contacts so far and the tracking is still running. We temporarily closed down the municipal hall to facilitate the contact-tracing and disinfection,” Remitar said on Wednesday.
The Malapatan Information Office (MIO) said the 42-year-old Sumbo underwent RT-PCR testing on Tuesday morning. and the result came out positive at about noon.
The municipal incident management team, which is headed by Remitar, has yet to establish how or where the mayor caught the disease.
“His (Sumbo) activities have been actually limited and he mostly stayed in his office these past days,” an MIO source said.
The MIO said Sumbo was the 12th confirmed Covid-19 case in the municipality, and the only active infection as of Wednesday morning.
It added that all identified close contacts were already isolated and scheduled to undergo rapid antibody and antigen screening, and confirmatory RT-PCR testing within the day.