Tawi-Tawi records first coronavirus case

FIRST BATCH. The IATF Tawi-Tawi COVID-19 team and local government officials met 303 locally stranded individuals and returning overseas Filipinos from Zamboanga City and Metro Manila at the Bongao Port for the Balik Tawi-Tawi Program on June 4, 2020. Photo from the Tawi-Tawi Provincial Government Facebook page

FIRST BATCH. The IATF Tawi-Tawi COVID-19 team and local government officials met 303 locally stranded individuals and returning overseas Filipinos from Zamboanga City and Metro Manila at the Bongao Port for the Balik Tawi-Tawi Program on June 4, 2020.

Photo from the Tawi-Tawi Provincial Government Facebook page

A member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) became “TWT001,” the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Tawi-Tawi.

In a situation report released on Sunday, July 5, the Tawi-Tawi Inter-Agency Task Force said the patient is a 44-year-old locally stranded individual (LSI) who traveled from San Isidro, Quezon City to Zamboanga City to Basilan, then went back to Zamboanga City and finally, Tawi-Tawi.

He arrived in Bongao Port on June 30. The patient, who did not show any symptoms, is now isolated.

The Tawi-Tawi IATF report did not say why and how the patient was able to travel to 4 areas, and went back and forth to Zamboanga City.

On Monday, July 6, the Tawi-Tawi IATF issued an advisory saying that as contact tracing is being done and some quarantine facilities are on lockdown, the province has decided to:

  • temporarily suspend the entry of LSIs and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) from Zamboanga City and other nearby provinces;
  • revoke and declare void certificates of prior coordination, entry permit, and acceptance letter from IATF; and
  • suspend ferrying of passengers to and from Bongao, except for local essential services.

Tawi-Tawi IATF's point person, Mobon Nuruddin Gampal, also urged everyone to stay at home and follow health protocols.

 

Tawi-Tawi is among the provinces in the country that managed to keep themselves COVID-19 free for at least 5 months, since the Philippines’ first reported case was announced in late January.

Other provinces and local government units that recently recorded their first coronavirus cases include Masbate and the Mountain Province.

Meanwhile, a newborn in Lamitan City was found to have COVID-19. Her mother has also tested positive for the coronavirus. It was reported that the baby had a "close contact" with a 67-year-old LSI who arrived in Lamitan from Zamboanga City on June 6. 

On Sunday, July 5, a record 2,434 new cases were added to the number of coronavirus cases in the Philippines.

This brought the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 44,254 as of 4 pm on Sunday, the Department of Health (DOH) said. 

The DOH said that 1,297 have died from the respiratory illness while nearly 12,000 have recovered. – Rappler.com