Norwegian is Dipolog’s first COVID-19 case

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A 63-year-old was the first reported case of coronavirus disease 2019 () in City when he tested positive in a rapid test conducted in Manila.

On March 2, the foreigner came to the city to visit his friend Barangay Minaog and rented a house in Barangay Sicayab.

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The Norwegian was staying in Dipolog for about two months when he complained of chest pain, so he was immediately brought to a private hospital on April 26.

According to Dr. Esmeralda Nadela, the provincial health officer of Zamboanga del Norte, they immediately took the patient to Manila for an angiogram.

“Considering na two months na siyang nandito at wala kahit na anong symptoms ng COVID hindi talaga natin masabi na dito niya nakuha ang virus. The fact na lahat ng ating ipina-test dito galing ng Zamboanga del Norte ay negative lahat posible na sa Manila na siya nahawa considering that the patient is immune-compromised because of his heart ailment,” asid Dr. Nadela.

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(Considering he’s been here for two months without any symptoms of COVID, we can’t really say if he got the virus here. The fact that everyone we tested here from Zamboanga del Norte was all negative. He might have got infected in Manila considering that the patient is immune-compromised because of his heart ailment.)

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It is a protocol in all hospitals in major cities such as Manila that all patients should undergo rapid testing before any medical procedure is performed.

Up to 40 individuals had close contact with Norwegian and are now under home quarantine. They will also undergo rapid testing.

“Yong may direct contact, i-swab namin, ang lahat ng mga nurses and even those exposed in the hospital ipapa-rapid test at kung magpopositibo God forbid, i-swab test natin lahat,” added Nadela.

(Those with direct contact, we will swab them. All of the nurses and even those in the hospital will undergo the rapid test. And if someone tests positive, God forbid, we will swab-test everyone.)

The barangay where the Norwegian lived and visited will impose checkpoints and quarantine pass to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the area.

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