#25 tests negative for 2nd time; Catanduanes now COVID-free

Case #25, the only confirmed COVID-19 patient in Catanduanes, has tested negative for the second straight time and will be classified as “recovered” under present guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH).

The 63-year old permanent resident of Japan has been discharged from the isolation ward of the Eastern Bicol Medical Center (EBMC) which she has called home since she tested positive for coronavirus disease, was brought out of her locked-down residential block near the airport and eventually placed at a corner second-floor room of the provincial hospital.

The latest test result is her 4th after her first taken on March 13 proved inconclusive due to insufficient material of the specimen. The second test on her April 16 specimen yielded positive results, while the third specimen taken on April 22 tested negative in results released by the Bicol Regional Diagnostic and

Reference Laboratory (BRDRL) in Legazpi City two days later.

According to informed sources, the EBMC management wanted to have Case #25 discharged early last week before the 4th swab was taken but the Provincial Health Office reportedly preferred that she be kept in isolation until the test results came out.

The patient’s test results came out along with another negative finding with regards to a swab taken from a Bagamanoc resident who was listed as “suspect” in the Catanduanes COVID-19 Tracker issued by the PHO last Friday, May 8.

Another source confirmed that as of Sunday, May 8, all 14 suspects in the tracker list have tested negative for the highly infectious disease. The 14 consists of one (1) each from Bagamanoc, Bato and Gigmoto, two (2) from Viga, three (3) from Caramoran, and six (6) from Virac.

Among the three probables from Virac, one of them – an elderly from Marilima – expired at a private hospital before a swab could be properly taken. The source said the deceased had no travel history

As a result, cautious health authorities had the seven close contacts of the deceased tested for the virus just to make sure she was not COVID-positive. One of the contacts is reportedly a Virac employee assigned to the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO).

The specimens were sent to the Bicol testing laboratory last Friday, May 8, and were picked up from the ferry at Tabaco port by an Albay-based personnel of the DOH Catanduanes provincial office.

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