BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Nine family members of Patient 8, the latest confirmed case in Bacolod City have already been swabbed, along with 13 health care workers who were exposed to the patient.
This is according to Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia in a statement to local media as he called for continued vigilance despite the fact that most of the confirmed cases in Bacolod have recovered.
The nine were also brought to one of the city’s quarantine centers for isolation until their test results are released, the mayor further revealed.
The mayor gave the statement after local health authorities here identified Patient 8, a 69-year-old resident of the sub-village of Sabes, in Villamonte.
He had no travel history to locations with positive cases, and was admitted to the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital last 9 April because he had “difficulty in breathing”. He died three hours later, and was swabbed post-mortem by the City Health Office.
Before his respiratory symptoms manifested, he had diarrhea for three days. He was also hypertensive.
The statement added that after he died, Patient 8 was wrapped in impermeable plastic labeled “infectious”, and kept in a hospital morgue overnight.
A funeral home employee then retrieved the body the next day (10 April) from the regional hospital and brought to the Bacolod City Public Cemetery “for immediate burial, without embalming”.
Funeral parlor staff, the mayor said, were in protective gear.
Specimen from his swab was then sent on 11 April to the DOH bio-laboratory in Iloilo City. The results were revealed 21 April.
Contact-tracing is also being continued, while the surrounding areas around Patient 8’s residence – a distance of 50 meters – were locked down. Neighboring areas were already disinfected by the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office last 21 and 22 of April.
“With this sad happening, we express our deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones of the victim. This is news that should remind us all of the seriousness of this health crisis we are facing,” the mayor said, adding, “While most of our positive-COVID patients have recovered and are now well, we still appeal to all to strictly follow the guidelines of our Enhanced Community Quarantine. This is a measure that, if done correctly, could help prevent substantially the spread of this COVID-19.”