The Department of Health Region 02 or the Cagayan Valley Center for Health Development (CVCHD) has confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in Tuguegarao City during a press conference on Saturday, March 21.
The test results came from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and showed that the patient tested positive from the coronavirus disease 2019.
The patient is PH275, a 44-year old male and a resident of Caritan Norte, Tuguegarao City.
According to the Leticia Cabrera, CVCHD officer in charge, the patient arrived in Tuguegarao City on March 11 from Metro Manila where he worked as a Fire Inspector of the Bureau of Fire Protection.
Even before his arrival in Tuguegarao City, the patient has been experiencing symptoms such as cough and difficulty in breathing.
The patient was brought to the emergency doors of Divine Mercy Wellness Center on March 11, and was transferred to Cagayan Valley Medical Center (CVMC) later that day.
CVMC Hospital Chief Glenn Matthew Baggao clarified that the patient is alive and is at stable condition.
“Buhay po ang pasyente at ngayon po ay naka-admit siya sa aming isolation room”, Baggao said.
The contact tracing of PH275 is underway and Tuguegarao City Health Officer Dr. James Guzman said that the family of the patient is now under strict home quarantine.
According to Guzman, both the mother and wife of the patient are at high risk of contracting the virus from the patient since they were to one who brought and stayed with him at the hospital.
The tricycle driver on the other hand is also under home quarantine but is at a low risk of getting the virus.
Guzman also said that this should open the eyes of the citizens not only in the city but in the whole region to follow strict home quarantine.
Health officials have reiterated that social distancing should be practiced to prevent the virus from spreading.
They also said that the public must refrain from spreading fake news or unverified data in social media.
“Wag po tayong padalos-dalos. Dumiretso kayo sa site naming at mayroon kaming official Facebook account na maaaring pagbasehan ng impormasyon”, Cabrera said.
During the press conference, Baggao said that 74 private rooms have been converted into isolation and quarantine rooms to cater patients that will test positive in the following days.
This is also a measure to make sure that the other patients in the hospital will not be at risk of contracting the virus, Baggao said.
“Sa napag-usapan po naming, may sapat na kagamitan ang CVMC upang alagaan an gating mga pasyenteng may sintomas” the hospital chief said.
Baggao also clarified that there are no available testing kits in the province of Cagayan, samples will be sent to Metro Manila to test if the patient has contracted the virus.
“Right now, we do not have testing kits here in Cagayan. We send the swab test to Metro Manila for confirmatory test”, he added.
All over the country, the number of confirmed cases has reached 307, according to DOH, with 77 new cases just today.
According to the OIC of CVCHD, there are currently 117 persons-under-investigation and 454 persons-under-monitoring in the whole region.