Maguindanao Gov. Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu on Tuesday ordered the temporary lockdown of the provincial capitol building in Buluan town after three employees tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Mangudadatu also directed capitol personnel to work from home until further notice.
Prior to the lockdown, Mangudadatu ordered the disinfection and decontamination of the provincial capitol building from Sept. 7 to 11 after several employees tested positive during rapid tests, according to Nash Imam, head of the provincial risk reduction and management office.
Imam said the confirmatory swab test results of the infected employees came out Monday morning.
Health officials said one employee was exposed to a relative who was earlier tested positive of the virus while working at the Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) executive building in this city.
Two other employees who reside in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, were also exposed to a community where there was an infection.
Dr. Elizabeth Samama, Maguindanao health chief, has alerted the public about the rising number of Covid-19 cases.
“We would like to inform the public that there has been noted an increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the province of Maguindanao,” she said.
Aside from three employees of the provincial capitol, the province logged four more Covid-19 cases from South Upi and two Datu Odin Sinsuat towns.
“We would like to assure the public that all of these confirmed cases are currently admitted in our isolation facilities,” Samama said, adding that rapid response teams are now conducting contact tracing to people who might have close contact with recent patients.
Samama noted that more infections are being reported in Maguindanao’s neighboring areas of Sultan Kudarat province and Cotabato City, and advised “everyone to avoid non-essential travels to these areas.”
To date, Maguindanao has 118 confirmed cases, 23 of whom remained in isolation, with two reported deaths.
Across the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the health ministry reported six new cases of Covid-19 infections, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 798 as of Tuesday.
It also reported the cumulative recovery of 560 patients, including Monday’s five patients who have already recovered from the virus.
Another patient from Lanao del Sur also died, raising the death toll in the region to 25.
Five of the new cases were from Lanao del Sur, including Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. and Mayor Mohamad Macapodi of Malabang town. Another case was from Sulu. (PNA)