Hunt for Patient One contacts intensify: Dragnet cast over Bacolod City as local testing center waits for DOH approval

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The local health office, the police and detectives here are casting a wide net as City Hall goes on an intensified search for people who came into contact with COVID Patient One.

Bacolod city Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia with other members of the local Inter-Agency Task Force for COVID-19 during the press conference today. | Photo by Banjo C. Hinolan
Bacolod city Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia with other members of the local Inter-Agency Task Force for COVID-19 during the press conference today. | Photo by Banjo C. Hinolan

Mayor Evelio Leonardia, in the first press briefer on Week 2 of the general community quarantine, said the contact tracing will be as extensive as possible all over this urban center of more than half a million people.

The process involves identifying the places Patient One went to since he arrived 29 February from London, England, and the people he talked to or socialized with at least a week before he was brought to the hospital with flu-like symptoms.

PATIENT ONE CONTINUES TO IMPROVE

Patient One, 56, Filipino and male, is “continuing to improve and is doing well,” Leonardia said, quoting city health officer Maria Carmela Gensoli.

He is in “total isolation” in one of the private hospitals here, officials said. (READ also: Bacolod gets Patient One, person with travel history to London, England, 56; “stable, improving” in medical facility)

P5 MILLION WORTH OF TEST KITS

As to the testing facility here, Leonardia said they are waiting for the approval of the health department to approve the center that will be located at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital. (READ also: Swabs of 25 PUIs from city, province now at RITM – Gasataya)

The CLMMRH is the regional-level medical facility owned by government located along a main highway here.

It is also the isolation center for Persons Under Investigation.

Leonardia said they will buy an initial batch of 3,000 test kits as soon as DOH greenlights the center’s operation.

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