Zamboanga City conducts contact tracing, stricter quarantine as it records first COVID-19 case

Robie de Guzman

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The city government of Zamboanga said it has started tracing all people who have had contact with its first case of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar made the announcement on Monday night after confirming the city’s first case – a 29-year old male resident of Sinunuc in Zamboanga City.

“As of 8pm tonight, the city of Zamboanga has recorded its first COVID-19 case, based on the result and test conducted by the health agencies, the Department of Health,” she said.

Salazar added that the patient had traveled from Metro Manila via Philippine Airlines flight PR 2993, and arrived in the city on March 13.

He experienced fever and chills – which are among the coronavirus symptoms – two days later.

On March 16, he consulted a local private hospital and was considered a person under investigation due to his travel history.

He underwent testing the same day, and his swab specimen was sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) on March 17.

His test result came out positive for COVID-19 on March 24.

According to City Health Officer Dr. Dulce Miravite, the patient is in stable condition and had only manifested mild symptoms.

Miravite added that the patient has been under strict home quarantine.

“Na-monitor natin sa barangay, and minomonitor natin to siya everyday. So far, ang symptoms niya ay improving,” she said.



Salazar said they are now implementing stricter containment measures, especially in the village where the patient is residing, to stop the spread of the virus.

The mayor warned penalties against residents who will disobey the home quarantine and social distancing measures against COVID-19.

To date, the city has reported 31 patients under investigation but 17 of them have tested negative for coronavirus. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Val Villaflor)

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