Delayed results allowed Badian’s COVID patient to go home for hours
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The delay in the release of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test result of a quarantined man in Badian town, southwestern Cebu, has enabled him to go home and unknowing that he might have brought home SARS-CoV2 or coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The Badian Rural Health Unit (RHU) said that it was only a few hours since they released the patient, a 44-year-old man who arrived from Cebu City last May 6, from quarantine when the call from the Department of Health in Central Visayas came informing us that the patient tested positive of the virus.
The patient was released this Thursday, May 21, after spending already 15 days in the isolation center.
According to the RHU, the patient was swabbed on May 8, but they did not receive the result of his test until 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 21, or just hours apart since he was discharged from facility quarantine.
Badian’s second patient worked as a security guard in Mandaue City and rented a home in Alaska Mambaling, the barangay with the most number of COVID-19 cases in Cebu City.
“According to the BC 02 (Badian Covid patient 02), he worked as a security guard. [On] May 05, 2020, in the afternoon, he went home to his boarding house at Mambaling, Cebu City only to find that his boarding house was locked so no one could enter, he decided to wait for the curfew to be lifted and go home instead here in Badian,” the RHU said.
The RHU did not give details on how BC 02 traveled to Badian, about 103 kilometers southwest of Cebu City, aside from the patient’s claims that he went past the border checkpoints wearing his security guard uniform and by presenting his identification cards.
During the interview with health personnel when he arrived in Badian, BC 02, allegedly denied having any COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, colds, sore throat, and difficulty in breathing.
“But according to the BHERTs [Barangay Health Emergency Team members] monitoring him [in the isolation center], he was heard coughing and clearing his throat,” the RHU said.
The patient also claimed he has chronic sinusitis.
On May 7, the RHU said BC 02 already said he had an occasional cough and minimal sore throat, prompting the health personnel to decide to collect swab samples from him to be tested for COVID-19.
However, the RHU said, the patient initially refused to be swabbed and claimed that he had already undergone one although he was not able to present proof.
“On May 8, 2020, after the arguments and his insistence to not be swabbed, he finally gave in and he was swabbed,” the RHU said.
The RHU said they followed up the results of the test, but they did not receive any update about the patient’s swab samples until about 2 p.m. today or 13 days later. The test results for COVID-19 is usually released in 72 hours.
By this time, the patient, who is from one of the barangays in the town, has aleady been released as he has already stayed under quarantine for 15 days.
“As per Guidelines, [a] patient [that has] completed 14 days of Mandatory Quarantine [is] considered [a] graduate. The patient was also insistent on getting his Clearance Certificate from the Rural Health Unit because he claimed that his agency wants him to return to work immediately,” the RHU said.
“Around 2 p.m., we received a call informing us of the positive RT PCR result of Patient BC 02. We called the Provincial Health government and RESU for verification. Our Mayor, Chief of Police, and other members of the Municipal Inter-Agency Task Force were informed and the contact tracing team was activated again,” the RHU said.
When the team from the RHU arrived in the barangay where the patient lived, the patient has already been home, exposing his family and neighbors to the virus.
“The patient was adamant and insisted that he does not want to undergo quarantine again but after a lengthy discussion, he agreed and was transferred to our ILI Center,” the RHU said.
“Contact Tracing was done, and the neighborhood was placed under lockdown to prevent any possible spread of the virus,” the RHU added. /dbs
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