Death of elderly COVID-19 patient stuns Cagayan de Oro officials

By: Froilan Gallardo - CDN Digital Correspondent | April 24,2020 - 08:52 PM

CAGAYAN DE ORO – A 69-year-old man, who died at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center last weekend, was found to be positive of COVID-19.

The laboratory results of Patient 6783, a resident of Pinikitan, Barangay Camaman-an here, stunned city officials who are already planning for a gradual opening of shopping malls and other stores next week.

“I was stunned when I heard about this. We have no admissions in the past four days,” Mayor Oscar Moreno said.

Moreno said laboratory results that confirmed the patient was COVID-19 positive came last April 23.

He said the patient died last April 18 and doctors thought he died of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARI.

“The patient was admitted at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center on the evening of April 17. He died in the early morning of April 18,” Moreno said.

“I was told in the afternoon of April 23,” Moreno added.

DR. Joselito Retuya, chief epidemiologist of the City Health Office said all 16 family members of the patient who were living in one house were gathered and placed in an isolation facility in the city.

He said the family members, however, failed to give health officials a vital clue: the travel history of the dead patient.

This failure to get the travel history of the patient has stumped authorities here.

Moreno said the possibility that the patient was infected by local transmission will not be ruled out.

“If we do not have the answer to that question then chances are it is locally transmitted,” Moreno said.

Moreno said he might impose stricter quarantine measures for the village of Pinikitan.

“I advised residents of Pinikitan not to go out from their houses as we try to get the virus,” Moreno said.

City hall has already passed a memorandum requiring all its employees to state their home addresses.

“Those who resides in Pinikitan are advised not to report for work on Monday and work from home only,” the source said.

The death of the patient from Pinikitan, a densely populated urban community here came as Moreno and his staff planned the gradual reopening of malls and other stores next week.

President Rodrigo Duterte last April 23, classified Misamis Oriental including its component cities of Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog and El Salvador, under the General Community Quarantine areas.

Under the guidelines for General Community Quarantine areas, priority and essential construction projects would be resumed; and partial opening of shopping malls and non-leisure shops.

Moreno said he was favoring for a partial opening until the news that the patient from Pinikitan came. /rcg

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TAGS: Cagayan de Oro City, COVID-19, ECQ, Northern Mindanao

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