Ilocos Sur confirms 3rd case of coronavirus

VIGAN CITY — The province of Ilocos Sur recorded its third positive case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Tuesday, now referred to as IS-C3. 

In a statement issued by Governor Ryan Luis Singson, he said the patient is a 30-year-old pregnant returning overseas Filipino (ROF) from Barangay Pantay Daya, Vigan City who arrived from Taiwan on April 15. 

She was quarantined at The Selah Garden Hotel in Pasay City until May 25, the same day she was transported to Ilocos Sur through the efforts of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Department of Transportation.  

The length of her quarantine in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the negative RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test dated May 9 resulted to her unhampered entry to the province on May 26. 

Due to the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s advisory inhibiting local government units to subject these ROFs to another quarantine, patient was only asked to stay home for another seven days from the time of arrival in the province. 

All throughout, she was asymptomatic.

Once the seven-day observation period was over, IS-C3 was free to move visiting different establishments within Vigan City. 

On June 3, the patient went to Cebuana Lhuillier Pawnshop, 7/11 Convenience Store in Landmark Building, Vera Cruz Maternal and Women’s Health and Ultrasound Clinic for her pre-natal check-up, Linda’s Department Store and then to JTC Supermarket. 

After that, she rode a tricycle on her way home. 

Outside these dates, the patient stayed in her residence.

On June 7, she experienced slight fever and sore throat and proceeded to St. James Hospital and then to Ilocos Sur Provincial Hospital-Gabriela Silang but went home thereafter. 

She then reported the symptoms to the barangay health emergency response team (BHERT). 

The BHERT in turn reported to the City Health Office for preliminary treatment. 

On June 8, she went to Caltex Bantay, where she rode a taxi on to the Ilocos Sur District Hospital-Magsingal where she was admitted and subsequently swabbed leading to the detection of the causative agent of COVID-19. 

“Relative to this, contact tracing shall be conducted within the whole of Metro Vigan , the municipalities of Sinait, Cabugao, Narvacan, Santiago, Sta. Cruz and Tagudin,” Singson said.

He added, “Our Provincial Health Officers shall be coordinating with OWWA to identify the other contacts who rode the same bus with her from NCR.”

He advised those who have known exposure to IS-C3 to inform their BHERT or the health officers closest to them. 

He also reminded everyone to be extra cautious and to stay home unless it is extremely necessary. 

Meanwhile, Vigan City Mayor Juan Carlo Medina placed the residence of the patient and its immediate vicinity under lockdown beginning June 9. 

Medina said coordination was made to barangay for the delivery of essential needs and for the immediate disinfection of all concerned houses. 

He said the Vigan City Contact Tracing Team has conducted tracing of the establishments and of the people the patient may have come in contact with. 

Those considered contacts have been informed and are being observed for symptoms. 

He said the involved establishments have immediately taken necessary measures, such as but not limited to disinfection and sanitation procedures, to ensure the safety of their customers. 

He added, “In as much as the identity of the tricycle and taxi drivers which conveyed her to the specified destinations is still unknown, I am imploring those concerned and the public to notify the City Health Office should you have further information regarding this matter.” 

He assured that the city government of Vigan is doing all efforts to contain and manage the situation to ensure the health and safety of every Bigueño.