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Acting mayor turns to be the first COVID-19 case in Misamis Oriental town

Police block the main road leading to a purok in Barangay Linangkayan in Naawan town, Misamis Oriental as authorities impose a 14-day ‘localized containment’ starting July 11. (Photo by DIVINA SUSON)

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental, Philippines — Acting Mayor Jaime Roa of Naawan tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, July 11, prompting authorities here to impose a “localized containment” on Purok 7, Barangay Linangkayan where he lives.

Dr. Gwendelyn Labastilla, municipal health officer of Naawan, said swab samples  were taken from the mayor after three of the local government employees he had direct contact with tested positive for the disease in rapid antibody tests.

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Roa, an 80-year-old medical doctor, was the one who suggested that he be tested, too, on learning about the three employees who tested positive for the antibody tests.

It turned out that, except for Roa, all the other personnel tested negative for COVID-19 in the Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test.

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The acting mayor is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Naawan town and the 25th in Misamis Oriental.

Labastilla said Roa made no recent other travel exceptto Cagayan de Oro City.

Capt. Dennis Dano, chief of Naawan Municipal Police Station, said more than one hundred families were affected in the 14-day localized containment, which started on Saturday.

The two roads to the community have been blocked, with police officers and members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) guarding the barricades.

“We only designate one entry and exit point going to Purok 7,” Dano said, adding that only authorized persons would be allowed to go out of their houses.

He said the local government had been providing food support to families affected by the containment, but relatives could leave food supplies at the checkpointfor their relatives in Purok 7.

“They can put the food supplies at the table we provided and the owner can pick it up there,” Dano said.

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Labastilla said the local Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) had already started contact-tracing the people who had direct contact with Roa.

“Most of the time he was in the municipal hall. We were able to trace employees who had face-to-face contact with him, including his family who live with him,” Labastilla said.

He said they had taken swab samples from those the acting mayor had come in contact with. They have already isolated these probable cases even as they await test results.

The IATF decided to admit Roa in Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) in Cagayan de Oro City to make sure he would be well-monitored.

“He is asymptomatic but we are worried because he is a senior citizen and Cagayan de Oro City is quite far,” Labastilla said.

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TAGS: coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, Jaime Roa, Misamis Oriental COVID-19 cases
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