Thursday, 09 April 2020 07:24

Health experts clarify ‘CDO is not yet COVID-free’ as NMMC admits 2 new patients

Written by Stephen Pedroza

Health experts in Cagayan de Oro City have once again clarified in a press conference today, April 9, that the city is not yet COVID-free as some reports claimed on social media.  


“This is not yet the right time to declare a certain place as COVID-free,” warned Dr. Lorraine Nery of the City Health Office. “We should not declare anything as COVID-free even at the barangay level.”


Nery said the public should be wary about reports claiming that our city or the region to be free from this global pandemic.


“We have to wait for the appropriate agencies, such as the Department of Health, for those kinds of declarations,” she said.


Dr. Ian Gonzales, head of the Infectious Disease Cluster of the Department of Health - Northern Mindanao, clarified that when the DOH said “contained” it only meant “that no new cases from the city have been registered or that the test results that arrived turned out to be all negative.”


“The DOH never said that we should be complacent in dealing with COVID-19 in our region,” Gonzales said. “We keep on telling the public to stay vigilant and to practice interventions to avoid the spread of the virus.”


The call of the health professionals has been amplified as Dr. Jose Chan of the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) revealed at today’s presscon that two new COVID-19 patients have been admitted to the provincial hospital.


The two new patients, who are not residents of Cagayan de Oro, are said to be the 56-year-old husband and 16-year-old child of Patient 598.


According to Chan, the result of the repeat test released today indicated that the husband of Patient 598 is now negative.


NMMC continues to closely monitor the said new COVID-19 patients along with the current ones in the regional referral hub.


Gonzales earlier cautioned the public to validate the sources of the information they share on social media to avoid misleading people or causing panic.


“Let us remember that when we consume information from the internet, we should validate the source,” he said, “Always check the official websites.”


This Lenten season, City Mayor Oscar Moreno also reminded the Kagay-anons to practice self-reflection at home instead of going outside.


“We encourage everyone to stay at home,” Moreno said, “This is only a small sacrifice that we are asking the public to make this Holy Week.”