28 at wake of COVID-19 patient sent to quarantine in Cotabato town
KIDAPAWAN CITY—Health authorities have ordered the quarantine of 28 persons who attended the wake of a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient in Matalam town, Cotabato province.
Dr. Rhema Guianan, Matalam health officer, said contact tracers counted 63 individuals present at the wake and burial, who included immediate family members and some public officials.
But Guianan clarified that the 28 persons now under quarantine were the only ones who had close contact with the patient.
Philbert Malaluan, Cotabato provincial board member, said the man, who had been suffering from hypertension and diabetes, died on July 13 while undergoing treatment at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City. He was tested there for coronavirus.
Malaluan added that the man’s remains were brought to Matalam town and was buried on July 14, after a 12-hour wake at the family home where immediate relatives and friends had visited.
At the time the man’s body was brought to his home, results of his coronavirus tests have not come out yet although the transport of the remains was cleared by the Davao Region’s COVID-19 task force, said Malaluan.
Guianan said the embalmed body arrived in the town in the evening of July 13.
But Guianan expressed disappointment at the lack of coordination by the family with her office, saying she had been informed of the dead man’s test results, positive for coronavirus, only after the burial.
“They should have informed our office so that proper protocols would be observed,” Guianan told reporters.
Guinan said the body was transported using the services of a funeral parlor based in Kidapawan City, and “it was only wrapped with cloth.”
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