CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Two patients who came from other areas in Northern Mindanao and were confined at the state-run hospital has died Wednesday, officials confirmed Thursday (March 19).

According to Dr. Jose Chan, Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) chief of hospital, the patients, all of them female, died from the severe acute respiratory illness (Sari) hours after they were brought to the facility.

Chan said it was not immediately known if the casualties have contracted the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) as result of the swab taken from one of the deceased has yet to be sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City for analysis.

One of the patients has not been tested before she expired, he said, as she died before doctors could take a swab of her.

He said the patients were considered as persons under investigation (PUIs) by health officials, and that they “died within 24 hours after they were brought at NMMC” said Chan.

There were 13 PUIs, including the two females, that were put under quarantine at the NMMC. With the death of the patients, the number has now reached 12 since another one person has been added to the PUI list on Thursday.

Chan refused to divulge the addresses of the deceased patients when asked by reporters where the women came from. It can be recalled that a 54-year-old man who was confined at the NMMC died on Friday (March 13).

The Department of Health in Region 10 has confirmed that the patient was infected with the coronavirus. He was buried in a public cemetery here the following day.

Due to the death of the women, Moreno has declared the city under community quarantine as he asked the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon to harmonize their efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. He added that they were alarmed of the deaths, although they did not test positive for Covid-19.

“We are taking the conservative view since we are concerned,” he said. (

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