Cagayancillo town health officials confirmed that one of their first COVID-19 cases breached health protocols by loitering around the town instead of undergoing mandatory quarantine.
The patient, identified only as a “prominent person” and a public official, was not reported by townspeople to have violated protocols, possibly out of fear.
Island town Cagayancillo broke its COVID-free streak after three new cases were reported in the town Wednesday. Town Municipal Health Office (MHO) officer Dr. Renie Boy Decosto said in an interview Wednesday that the infection stemmed from one imported case, an authorized person outside residence (APOR).
“Ang index case namin ay lalaki, 45 years old. Ito siya ay APOR galing sa Puerto Princesa mayroon silang bahay sa Villa Fe Subdivision sa Libis. Nakarating siya sa Cagayancillo noong November 15 at na quarantine namin siya, and then na-find out na IGM positive siya sa RDT noong November 21, six days after at mayroon na siyang mga close contact prior pa namin siya na RDT,” he said.
In a separate interview Thursday, Decosto added that the patient was caught loitering in public places when he was supposed to be observing the local home quarantine rules.
“We have a local protocol that all APOR should undergo home quarantine for at least four days, then RDT. If mag-negative, saka na siya makalabas to observe minimum health protocols. If positive, extend ang home quarantine for 14 days. Now, this APOR, since APOR, at highly prominent person, did not observe the protocol. Nahuli namin siya loitering for six days. No one from the community even reported,” he said.
Decosto added that the official may have gotten away with the violation because townspeople were afraid to report it. He urged Cagayancillo locals to report such violations for the safety of the community.
“Huwag matakot mag-report sa kinuukulan. Since almost magkamag-anak lang ang mga Cagayanen, takot sila mag-report sa amin baka sila ay balikan. That’s my main problem sa isla, kaya mahirap i-control,” he said.
After town health officials identified the close contacts of the male APOR, two tested positive in a swab test.
“So nag-swab positive siya kahapon, along with other 2 contacts, close contacts na babae, 47 years old kapatid ito nya ata, at saka itong isa 58 years old na babae,” he said.
The town will also be imposing a 14-day travel ban beginning Wednesday, even without an official advisory, and will be under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
(with reports from Ruth Rodriguez, Romar Miranda, and Patricia Laririt)