Lone COVID-19 patient in Cotabato recovers
The security guard at the House of Representatives checks the temperature of visitors as the Congress implements safety measures against COVID-19 on Feb. 4, 2020.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
Lone COVID-19 patient in Cotabato recovers
John Unson (Philstar.com) - March 26, 2020 - 4:03pm

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — The Cotabato Regional Medical Center announced Thursday its lone COVID-19 patient has recovered after two weeks of confinement.

“The patient has been discharged after recuperation,” physician Helen Yambao, chief of the CRMC, told reporters in a press briefing where she confirmed the recovery of the patient whose named she refused to reveal.

Yambao said there are four patients in the CRMC tagged as persons under monitoring.

“But we can't say yet if they are indeed COVID-19 patients for now,” she said without elaborating.

The patient, who was just released from confinement, is one of the 215 Islamic Tabligh missionaries who participated in a gathering of more than 15,000 missionaries in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia early this month.

One of the Filipino Tablighs, an ethnic Maranaw, who joined the event in Kuala Lumpur died from coronavirus infection at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City more than a week ago.

The Bangsamoro regional government said it has identified 196 of the 215 Filipino Tablighs who traveled to Malaysia recently.

Hundreds of the more than 15,000 Tablighs of different nationalities who joined the congregational gathering in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, have reportedly been afflicted with COVID-19 infection.

Asnin Pendatun,spokesman of the Bangsamoro Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19, said they now have the names of the Filipino Tablighs who traveled to Malaysia.

He said agencies of the Bangsamoro regional government are now trying to locate them.

“We have their names and their passport numbers,” said Pendatun, who is Cabinet secretary in the office of Chief Minister Hadji Ahod Ebrahim of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Pendatun said 35 of the 215 Filipino Tablighs who participated in a large gathering in Malaysia are from the BARMM provinces.

The Tabligh religious group is comprised of preachers roving in far-flung areas to propagate Islam, clad in traditional Pakistani men’s attire.

The Bangsamoro government has enlisted the help of the Regional Police Office-BARMM, the military’s Western Mindanao Command and the local government units in Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi in tracing the whereabouts of the recalcitrant Tablighs refusing to submit to medical examination. 

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