Mayors Francis Zamora, Menchie Abalos in isolation
MANILA, Philippines — Two mayors in eastern Metro Manila went into isolation starting on Sunday after being exposed to carriers of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). In a brief statement issued by the Mandaluyong City Health Department, city health officer Alex Sta. Maria said that Mayor Menchie Abalos would undergo home quarantine after exposure to “COVID-positive patients.”
There was no mention of where the exposure occurred, only that the interactions were uncovered after contact tracing. It did not divulge where the patients worked or lived.
“I [advised] her to undergo home quarantine and [she] will be monitored by our health personnel,” Sta. Maria said, adding that Abalos was not showing any symptoms of the virus.In a statement on his personal Facebook page, San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora said the city health officer told him on Sunday morning that a staff member at the Office of the City Mayor had tested positive for the virus.
“I am in perfect physical condition and I have no COVID-19 symptoms at all,” he said. “But because I have been exposed to a positive patient, I have decided to go on self-quarantine as a safety precaution for everyone.”
Zamora also told reporters on Sunday that all personnel involved in repacking relief goods at City Hall and all employees of the mayor’s office had also been advised to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
According to him, he spoke with the patient after learning of the diagnosis and the latter reported feeling none of the most common symptoms, including fever, cough and colds.
Still, Zamora advised the staffer to get the “necessary treatment” and “go on a quarantine effective immediately.”
His self-quarantine will begin just as the city is aggressively ramping up its efforts to prepare for a deluge of COVID-19 cases. He warned last week that the three hospitals in San Juan, one of the most densely populated cities in the country, were on the brink of overcapacity.
The local government has clinched an agreement with Xavier School to help convert San Juan Science High School—an unused building at Barangay St. Joseph—into a 100-bed overflow facility for persons under investigation.The city also opened a 25-bed COVID-19 ward at San Juan Medical Center on Sunday to ease the strain on its 17-bed isolation facility. INQ
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