Baguio doctor, 2 more patients heed mayor’s call, out COVID-19 status

BAGUIO CITY — Heeding Baguio City mayor Benjamin Magalong’s call for willing COVID-19 patients to publicly disclose their positive status to help fast-track contact tracing, two residents and a medical doctor here have come out in the open about having the disease.

On Sunday, March 29, spouses Enrique and Jaysay Bactad, both 67, from Las Piñas City agreed to disclose their positive status.

The couple were both experiencing low grade fever when they traveled to Baguio last March 15 for Enrique’s regular check-up with his doctor here.  Jaysay started having fever since March 11, according to reports.

They stayed in Jaysay’s maternal home at Tacay Road in Central Guisad on March 15 and 16 and had a check-up at Notre Dame de Chartres Hospital  March 17 where Jaysay had a swab test. She was later confined at the St. Louis University Hospital of the Sacred Heart.

Enrique was initially quarantined at home, but was eventually confined at Notre Dame on March 25 due to fever.

Their screening tests showing positive for COVID-19 came back last Saturday.

The couple admitted that on their way to Baguio City, they stopped at Petron in NLEX and briefly at a relative’s place in Nancayasan, Urdaneta City.

All of their known contacts in Las Piñas and in Baguio have been put on quarantine protocol.

Today, April 1, a Baguio doctor has also come out in the open about having COVID-19.

In a Facebook post this morning, Dr. Manuel Kelly revealed that a test done on March 27, 2020 for COVID-19 has turned out positive.

“As a frontliner, working as a doctor, we can’t help but be exposed to this dreadful pandemic. For the safety of everyone I may have encountered or came contact with, I want to be transparent. If we crossed path from March 13, 2020 to March 26, 2020, please have yourself quarantined for 14 days. If you have cough, fever, throat pain and diarrhea, have yourself be check[ed] immediately,” Dr. Kelly said in his post.

According to Dr. Kelly, this is his way of supporting Mayor Magalong’s call for patient transparency to enhance contract tracing in the city.

Dr. Kelly first declined the mayor’s request for identity disclosure saying he was not prepared and that he had anyway cooperated by informing his known contacts, said the Baguio City mayor. But today,  Dr. Kelly himself reached out to inform the mayor that he has revealed his situation via social media.

The mayor is happy the doctor had a change of heart. “I am commending him for his courage and for favorably responding to my call for transparency.”

The physician is asymptomatic as of the moment.

A total of four COVID-19 positive patients have come out publicly, including Joel Junsay, a health worker at the Baguio City Health Services Office, the first frontliner to reveal his condition on March 28.

As of today, there are 13 confirmed cases in the city with 2 recoveries, according to the Baguio City Health Services Office.