Zamboanga City records first COVID-19 case

RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 25 2020 12:31 AM | Updated as of Mar 25 2020 12:32 AM

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Zamboanga City has recorded its first confirmed case of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the city mayor said late Tuesday night.

Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar said the city's first confirmed case is a 29-year-old male resident of Sinunuc, Zamboanga city.

He had a history of travel from Metro Manila and arrived in Zamboanga City on March 13.

Two days after his arrival, he started manifesting mild symptoms of the disease.

On March 15, he consulted a local private hospital and was immediately considered as person under investigation because of his travel history.

Swab specimen was also taken on the same day and on March 17, the specimen was sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

Zamboanga City Health Officer Dr. Dulce Amor Miravite said they have started contact tracing, beginning from the patient's immediate family, as well as his friends who had close contact with him.

Salazar said she would put the entire village of Sinunuc, where the patient is residing, under strict community quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The patient has been under strict home quarantine and he only manifested mild symptoms of the disease.

The entire city has been placed under enhanced community quarantine since last week, following the spike of confirmed cases in the country.

All trips to and from Zamboanga City were suspended. Operations of business establishments, except those directly involved in providing the basic needs of the public, were also suspended.

Curfew has also been imposed in the entire city and the operation of public markets have also been limited to 6 hours.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Philippines has a total of 552 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 35 deaths and 20 recoveries.