Sister-in-law of 1st Negros Oriental COVID fatality dies

By March 28, 2020 No Comments

BACOLOD CITY –– The sister-in-law of a municipal councilor in Negros Oriental, who died of COVID-19, has passed away while waiting for the result of her swab test.

The woman, along with her husband, was confined at a private hospital in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental’s capital, after both experienced flu-like symptoms.

Her husband is the brother of the councilor of Tayasan town, who died of COVID-19 on March 15 – the first case in the province.

Negros Oriental provincial information officer Bimbo Miraflor said the woman died on March 24, while her husband was recovering.

Both were considered persons under investigation (PUIs) pending release of the results of their swab tests that were sent to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, considered COVID-19 testing center for Central Visayas.

The councilor developed flu-like symptoms shortly after arriving in Metro Manila. He attended the Philippine Councilors’ League national convention in Metro Manila and visited his relatives in Greenhills, San Juan City, where COVID-19 cases were reported.

The woman was among the eight PUIs in the Visayas, who died while waiting for the release of their swab tests.

Two of them were confined at a hospital in Cebu, while five others stayed at medical centers in Western Visayas.

Local health officials earlier explained that the lack of test kits, as well as the need to send results to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Manila, previously contributed to the delay in the determination of COVID-19 cases.

Last March 16, the testing center at the VSMMC, a sub-national laboratory testing for COVID-19 in the Visayas started to operate, helping expedite COVID-19 test results.

Dr. Jaime Bernadas, director of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), in a press conference last Tuesday, emphasized that there was still one confirmed COVID-19 case in Cebu.

“As of noon of March 24, there is but one confirmed coronavirus case here,” said Bernadas, referring to the 65-year-old male “professional” who is still recuperating in a hospital in Mandaue City.

Of the 81 local COVID-19 tests done recently at the VSMMC, seven yielded results that needed “confirmatory tests” at the RITM in Manila. The other 73 patients were negative of the virus.

Bernadas didn’t say why there was a need for RITM confirmatory test for the nine patients.

He said that it was a technical procedure and it did not necessarily mean they were either positive or negative of COVID-19.

The regional director, however, said they wanted to assume that those who yielded “unclear” results were positive of the virus so that there would be a proactive “containment” and instituting protocols like contact tracing, among others.

In Western Visayas, the DOH reported that a 30-year-old man from Roxas City in Capiz died pending results of his test. He had traveled from Manila.

In Negros Occidental, a 60-year-old man from Bacolod City, who had no travel history but had cancer, and a 78-year-woman from San Carlos City also died.

Another fatality was a 72-year-old man in Iloilo who had traveled to Manila.

A 63-year-old man from Romblon, who also traveled to Manila, also died in Iloilo City.

Meanwhile, the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas was investigating Cebu City Councilor Niña Mabatid for posting “false” information when she claimed that three had died in Cebu City due to COVID-19.

Brig. General Albert Ignatius Ferro, director of the Central Visayas police, said Mabatid’s post created panic among people.

“We will invite her to shed light on the issue. What she posted was irresponsible. Being a public official, she must be responsible enough to give accurate information,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.

Mabatid said she was willing to face the police probe.

“I am willing to face it for the Cebuanos. I am not afraid,” said the councilor, who reiterated that her information was reliable.

In her Facebook post last March 22, Mabatid said three persons died due to suspected COVID-19 in Cebu City. Her claim was denied by the DOH-7.

Edited by LZB

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TAGS: coronavirus disease, COVID-19, Negros Oriental, patients under investigation, Philippine news updates, PUIs, Regions, swab test
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