CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – A 69-year-old man from a suburban village here who died while confined at a government-run hospital became the third person to have contracted the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), authorities confirmed Friday, April 24.

The patient, identified by the Department of Health-10 (DOH-10) as “PH 6783”, died of severe acute respiratory illness while admitted at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) on Saturday, April 18. He came from Sitio Pinikitan, Barangay Camaman-an.

The information was shared by Mayor Oscar Moreno during Friday’s press briefing. He added PH 6783 had shown influenza-like symptoms on April 10 and was brought to the NMMC on April 15.

In a separate press briefing, Dr. Adriano Suba-an, DOH’s Regional Director said the patient had a chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, hypertension, and benign prostatic hyperplasia. He added, a swab was taken from the patient on April 17 but the test result came out Thursday, April 23.

Moreno said that due to PH 6783’s test result, the city government’s plan to reopen commercial establishments and bring the local economy back to life may have to be put on hold as health personnel are now conducting contact-tracing and isolating the family and those who have come in contact with the infected patient.

Dr. Jose Retuya, the City Epidemiologist, said they began the contact-tracing when PH 6783 was admitted at the NMMC, who was then categorized as a suspected COVID-19 case. Because of PH 6783’s test result, he said, they have expanded their contact-tracing.

Moreno said the City Health Office and other authorities are still determining if the latest COVID-19 case is locally transmitted. He added that 16 family members of the deceased are now put on quarantine at an isolation facility set up by the city government.

The city mayor has also urged the residents in Pinikitan to stay at home to prevent the virus from spreading further.

Cagayan de Oro’s first COVID-19 case, PH 597, was a 71-year-old male with a history of travel abroad. He has since tested negative after undergoing treatment at the NMMC. Meanwhile, the second case was an 18-year-old male who died while being treated for cancer in Davao City and may have been infected with the virus during his confinement at a hospital there. (

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