BATAC CITY, April 1 (PIA) -- Days after Ilocos Norte is placed under total lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the province records its first two positive cases of the viral disease on March 31.
In a public advisory issued on March 31, the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH&MC) in Batac City confirmed the two positive cases based on the laboratory results released by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
Further, the health facility stated these patients are isolated and are in stable condition.
Later on, Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc issued a statement informing that the two persons tested positive for COVID-19 are "a 42-year-old male from Brgy. Sungadan, Paoay with no travel history and a 49-year-old male from Brgy. Magnuang, Batac who travelled to Metro Manila several times."
The governor mentioned that they have quarantined those who have been in contact with the COVID-19 patients.
On April 1, Mayor Edward Quilala of Currimao released a statement on the circulating news that one of the patients is a police officer of the said town.
"It is much regret to inform you that the patient from Paoay is one of our police force in the municipality of Currimao," he confirmed.
According to Currimao mayor, the patient was initially diagnosed with tonsillitis and Urinary Tract Infection.
With this, the provincial government is now in close coordination with agencies concerned for the contact tracing.
"We are in close contact with the Department of Health, mayors, city and municipal health officers, and barangay captains to further contact trace these two patients," Governor Marcos Manotoc stated.
The barangays Sungadan in Paoay and Magnuang in Batac City are now placed on total lockdown.
"We were the first province in the country to declare a general community quarantine despite the fact we did not have a COVID-19 case. This past Sunday, we declared a total lockdown in the province. Our refrain has always been we must act as if COVID-19 is already here," said Manotoc.
As of March 31, the province has two positive cases, two persons under investigation, and 2,171 persons under monitoring. There have been 8,965 people who completed the 14-day quarantine. (JCR/JNCD/MJTAB, PIA Ilocos Norte)