COTABATO CITY: A 19-year-old student who hitched a ride in an ambulance that traveled from Davao City to M’lang, North Cotabato, has been tested negative of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) during a repeat test, an official said Thursday.
The student arrived home on May 6 but complained of a sore throat problem a few days later. Swab samples were taken from him and the May 17 result yielded an initial positive diagnosis.
M’lang Vice Mayor Joselito Piñol said the student experienced “discrimination” from neighbors but is now “very stable”.
All the people in the ambulance where the student hitched also tested negative.
“We are very glad that the test proved our neighbors wrong, we have experienced tremendous discrimination, in the social media, and by word of mouth from our neighbors,” the mother of the student said in the vernacular during a radio interview.
Piñol said M’lang now has zero Covid-19 active case, adding that the local government continues its drive on physical distancing, use of face masks, and frequent washing of hands to prevent contamination of the virus.
“The ambulance driver, the patients it transported, and all other passengers of the ambulance were also negative of the virus after undergoing tests and 14-day isolation,” Piñol said.
With the student’s recovery, North Cotabato now has only one positive patient. He is a 46-year-old resident of Banisilan town who worked as a public utility vehicle driver in Misamis Oriental and returned home last month and is now undergoing isolation in Kidapawan City.
Meanwhile, the student from North Cotabato is the second patient to have recovered in Region 12 over the past several days.
On June 1, the Department of Health–12 has reported that a 26-year-old patient (PH12238) from this city who was earlier tested positive of Covid-19 yielded negative from the virus following a repeat test.
PH12238, the region’s 17th Covid-19 positive patient, is a male employee of the Cotabato City local government unit but a resident of Matalam, North Cotabato.
He contracted the disease in early May while working for the distribution of the Social Amelioration Program of the government.
On May 20, an 11-year-old girl in this city who was associated with PH12238 was also tested to have Covid-19.
The Cotabato City Health Office said the girl, tagged as the region’s 23rd patient, was exposed or has close association with PH12238 who resides in an apartment owned by the girl’s family.
On May 23, a nine-month-old baby boy who was the girl’s sibling also tested positive of Covid-19, making him as Cotabato City’s 10th positive patient and the region’s 24th, the DOH-12 said.
The boy is in stable condition, according to the DOH situation report dated May 23. He has a history of exposure to his sister.
(With a report from Noel Punzalan/PNA/ Edwin Fernandez/ SRNY/ RSP)