Back from his review in Cebu, archi grad tests positive for COVID-19

May. 23, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – An architecture graduate, male, 26, who went to Cebu City to review for the licensure examination is this city’s latest positive case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), officials said Saturday, May 23.

“He is now at the city isolation unit and is undergoing treatment for his light cough,” said Dr. Joselito Retuya, an epidemiologist at the government-run hospital Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC).

The patient was one of the passengers who arrived at the Macabalan Wharf last May 19. He was with several overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and stranded individuals from different areas in the country.

The local Inter-Agency Task Force has been ferrying stranded individuals and returning OFWs back to their hometowns in Mindanao.

The patient’s swab sample was taken on Thursday, May 21 and the result came out a few hours later through the use of the NMMC’s re-calibrated testing machine. Should his health status worsens, Retuya said they are prepared to facilitate the patient’s transfer to NMMC, a COVID-19 referral medical facility.

On May 21, the NMMC has started operating its testing center using the GeneXpert, a machine previously used to detect tuberculosis but was later modified to test swab samples. So far, it has tested at least 25 swab samples from persons suspected of having contracted COVID-19.


The architecture graduate, according to Retuya, stayed at an apartment along with several individuals in Barangay Sawang Calero in Cebu City. The place was near the review center where he was studying for the licensure examination.

The patient decided to come back to Cagayan de Oro when the examination did not push through. Upon his arrival, he was subjected to the quarantine procedure based on Department of Health protocols like the rest of those who arrived by boat or by airplane.

Retuya shared that contact tracing has been conducted, while Mayor Oscar Moreno advised the patient’s neighbors not to worry since he wasn’t able to come home to his family.

The patient is the 10th person who tested positive for COVID-19 in this city. Five already died while four have recovered. (

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