COTABATO CITY – Since the onset of state advisories about coronavirus in January, the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi have remained COVID-19-free, while the mainland province of Lanao del Sur emerged as the “epicenter” in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, according to BARMM’s Health Ministry.
The BARMM’s Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has already recorded a total of 127 probable cases in BaSulTa, the acronym for the three island provinces, with no single confirmed or positive patient, Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan, regional Health Minister, revealed in his virtual presser here on Wednesday.
The Integrated Provincial Health Office of Sulu had earlier reported two deaths among its probable cases, but the two fatalities had tested “negative” for COVID-19, Dipatuan said.
“In the whole BARMM we have recorded a total of 235 suspected cases, but only 12 of these remained to be under strict monitoring and subject for Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing,” Dipatuan said.
Eleven of the cases needing PCR testing have been reported in Lanao del Sur including Marawi City, while the 12th case has been confirmed in Maguindanao, he said. (Ali G. Macabalang)