The Department of Health (DOH) in Caraga recorded a total of ten cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) through local transmission, out of the 55 confirmed cases in Caraga region’s capital city of Butuan.
In a virtual press briefing on Thursday afternoon Dr. Jose Llacuna, Jr., DOH Caraga director, said 10 persons in the city acquired COVID-19 through local transmission, or whose exposure to a confirmed positive patient could no longer be traced and with no known travel history.
Llacuna said one of the patients—a 55-year-old male had already died on Wednesday, making him the first COVID-19 fatality in the city and also the Caraga region’s first death associated with the disease.
According to the Caraga health chief, Butuan is now considered the epicenter of COVID-19 in the region following a sustained transmission of the virus.
With the city now facing a local transmission of the virus, Llacuna highlighted the importance of staying at home, practicing personal hygiene, and observing social distancing to contain the spread of the virus.
On Wednesday, the Butuan government had placed the villages of Baan Km.3, Bayanihan, Buhangin and Libertad, where “local transmissions” patients reportedly lived under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) to suppress the further spread of coronavirus disease.
The 15-day MECQ was approved by the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases of the Caraga Region.
Under MECQ, there is only a limited movement of people going to work and availing essential services.
Currently, the whole of Butuan is under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) from July 15 to 31 .
Even if the rest of the city is now under GCQ, city official urged residents to stay at home except when reporting for work or buying essential goods like food and medicine and carrying out essential tasks.
The city has 55 COVID-19 cases with one death and 35 recoveries to date, CLC