The family of the second confirmed COVID-19 case said they are not aware of how or where their deceased father contracted the coronavirus disease.
The patient’s youngest daughter, who sought anonymity, said Sunday that her father has no travel history and has no known “outside” exposure which left the family puzzled as to how their patriarch contracted the deadly infection.
“Hindi naman kami makapaniwala kasi wala naman siyang travel history. Wala naman kaming exposure o kaya kamag-anak na galing abroad tulad ng sinasabi nila. Wala, as in ang tatay namin dito lang sa bahay,” she said.
Puerto Princesa City mayor Lucilo Bayron earlier announced the city’s second confirmed COVID-19 case, a 63-year-old local resident from Barangay Tanabag, an outskirt village in Puerto Princesa City, who died on April 21. The deceased patient was admitted at the ONP on April 14 due to high fever and difficulty breathing.
Lockdown and Contact Tracing
Richard Ligad, city information officer (CIO), said contact tracing is being undertaken for those who had direct exposure with the deceased patient, especially the family members, pointing out that Brgy. Tanabag and certain parts of Brgy. Masipag were placed on lockdown.
“Ongoing na ang contact tracing at siniguro muna namin na andoon na sa Tanabag ang mga pulis. Na-secure na namin, natin sila [the family members] ay ma-contain sa area nila,” Ligad said.
Barangay Masipag village chief Virgilio Rabang told Palawan News Sunday morning that they have temporarily closed off portions of Valencia corner Abad Santos and Valencia corner Mabini streets while they are waiting for the city government to issue clear guidelines on what to do in the coming days.
One of the deceased patient’s sons lives in Masipag which caused an immediate village restriction.
“’Yon lang po ang areas na pina-lockdown ko muna kasi hindi ko muna pinapadaan ang mga tao along Valencia, Abad Santos, and then corner ng Mabini, ‘yon po hindi ko muna pinapadaan dyan kasi nga naghihintay pa tayo kung ano ang magiging advice ng city government dahil nga na-found out na ang isang kamaganak o anak ng namatay ay dito nakatira,” Rabang said.
Rabang also said he had posted some barangay tanods (security force) and members of their Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) to monitor and patrol the compound where the family member lives to ensure the person will stay at home.
The other family members in Tanabag, who were supposed to end their quarantine period on April 28, were once again asked to undergo another set of 14-day mandatory quarantine following the positive confirmatory test result released on Sunday (April 26).
“Nakapag-home quarantine na kami noong unang umuwi kami simula noong ma-admit si tatay noong April 14. Ngayon, pinuntahan kami ng mga taga-barangay at sinabing mag-quarantine ulit kami dito,” the youngest daugther said.
The daughter also said that barangay officials were assigned and posted outside their house to help in running errands for necessities and other supplies as they undergo home quarantine.
“Sinabihan kami ng barangay kasi ‘yon daw ang protocol ng government. Matatapos na dapat kami ngayong April 28, kaso noong namatay ang tatay namin noong April 21, sinabihan kami na mag-quarantine ulit for another 14 days. Nagpasabi sa isang tanod na ‘yon na lang ang bibili,” the daughter added.
The deceased confirmed COVID-19 case, who was also known to have other comorbidities, was first reported last week to the City Health Office (CHO) by the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) due to recurring fever and cough. He was admitted at the Ospital Ng Palawan (ONP) on April 14 and was swabbed on April 19.
“Nag-desisyon ang incident commander na si Dr. Dean Palanca na siya ay agad na i-admit sa Ospital Ng Palawan. Doon ay na-check at nakita na meron siyang ibang karamdaman. Although ‘yong ibang sintomas ay nagtutugma ng COVID-19, qualified siya sa suspect case,” Ligad said.
He was admitted in ONP and was already on vegetative state on April 14, “As in parang comatose na siya noong dinala sa ONP,” the daughter said.
The deceased COVID-positive patient, who was a construction worker, had no travel history and no known exposure outside according to his family.
He had stopped working since November 2019 after he had first experienced medical issues. He was diagnosed with pneumonia on February 2020.
“Dati nagco-construction worker, simula noong may nararamdaman siya sa katawan niya, hindi na siya nagtrabaho, as in dito na lang sa bahay. Since November may sakit na talaga ang tatay namin, pabalik balik na kami sa doktor. Una, noong November ang sabi migraine. Noong December nagkaroon siya ng sakit sa mata. Tapos gumaling naman yun. February 8 dinala siya sa ONP at ang findings naman ay pneumonia,” the daughter said.
The patient was able to go home at the onset of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
“March 14, umuwi kami dito pero wala naman siyang exposure sa ibang tao, dito lang kami sa bahay. Hindi pa naman siya bedridden,” she said.
The Grieving Family’s Plea
The family of Palawan’s second confirmed COVID-19 case asked the public to stop spreading fake news about them, alleging that some members were carriers of the deadly infection.
“Kung ganoon yung case, marami kami dapat mahawa kasi tulad ko risky kami buntis kami ng ate ko. Kami mismo makakaramdam sa ilang buwan na magkatabi kami matulog at kami nagpapakain ibig sabihin hindi lang tatay namin dapat may possibility na pati mga bata dito nahawa na ilang araw pa lang makakaramdam na sana,” the daughter said.
The daughter also said to respect the family as they ate still in the grieving process for the death of their father.
“Pakiusap na wag na silang magkalat ng fake news tsaka respect sa family kasi nagdadalamhati pa kami,” the daughter said.