Coron town recorded its first COVID-19 death, involving an 82-year-old female patient which was the town’s first case of local transmission.
Dr. Alan Guintapan, municipal health officer (MHO), in a phone interview on Tuesday evening, confirmed the town’s first casualty, a COVID-19 patient who was transferred to the neighboring town’s medical facility, Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital (CSGH).
“Tumawag sa akin ang Culion nag-expire daw kaninang hapon. Ang total na nasa direct contact, malaking pamilya kasi nasa 22 lahat ang aming isu-swab. Ang 18 doon mismo sa kanilang compound sa bahay na ‘yon and then ‘yong 4 ‘yong anak na nasa labas na kung saan siya ang nagkarga sa kanya papunta ospital,” Guintapan said.
Guintapan added that initial contact tracing pointed to two possible sources of the virus, including her son who worked in Philippine Port Authority (PPA), and a locally stranded returnee family member.
“May anak siya na lalaki na nagtatrabaho sa PPA as a guard. Siya ‘yong nagte-thermal scan sa mga incoming. Siya ang possible source number 1,” Guintapan said.
“Ang possible source number 2 kasi may LSI na galing sa Cuyo, apo niya na kung saan doon din nag-stay sa kanya although na-quarantine po ang pamilyang ‘yon before namin na-release pabalik sa kanila. Puwedeng dalawang sources,” Guintapan added.
The patient first complained of difficulty in breathing. She was initially seen by local health officers at the Coron District Hospital. She was referred to CSGH on August 14 for severe pneumonia.
The patient was placed under isolation in the intensive care unit (ICU). Her confirmatory test result returned positive on Monday (August 17).
The Palawan province has recorded a total of two COVID-19 deaths since the outbreak. The first death was an elderly man from Barangay Tanabag, Puerto Princesa City.
(With a report from Ruth Rodriguez)