Fourteen students who are in quarantine here and Maguindanao province after arriving from Cebu City tested positive for the coronavirus.
The students were stranded in Cebu City since January and were only able to return home when they availed of the national government’s program to take them back.
The first 12 who were positive for the virus arrived on May 16, and were placed in isolation upon reaching Maguindanao, which is part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). They were fetched by their local government from the Macabalan port in Cagayan de Oro City.
Cagayan de Oro City is part of the Northern Mindanao region.
Upon reaching their province, one of the students had flu-like symptoms, prompting Dr Elizabeth Samama, chief of the Maguindanao Provincial Hospital in Datu Hoffer, to order a RT-PCR test.
That student tested positive. Later, 3 more students also developed fevers. Local health officials then ordered that all returning students be tested. Of the 15 who were tested, 12 were confirmed to be positive for coronavirus.
Two others who arrived on May 19 from Cebu City also got positive results. One is from Cagayan de Oro City while the other from Iligan City. Those two came from the same architecture review center in Cebu City.
Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella ordered an investigation on how the students acquired the virus because isolation and testing are supposed to be part of the protocols before they were issued exit clearances from the city.