Aurora province reports first COVID-19 case in Baler

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 13) — The province of Aurora, northeast of Manila, recorded its first coronavirus case – a woman who ended up in the capital town of Baler from Pasay City, local officials said Thursday.

The Baler municipal government said the woman underwent home quarantine after arriving on August 4. She was brought to the Aurora Memorial Hospital on August 9 due to stroke.

She was then tested for COVID-19, and the results turned out positive on August 12. The municipal government said it already conducted contact tracing.

Of the 17 people found to have directly interacted with the patient, 10 went through RT-PCR testing, said Baler Mayor Rhett Angara.

In a statement, Aurora Governor Gerardo Noveras acknowledged the province’s first COVID-19 case, but said it will remain COVID-free in the Department of Health’s coronavirus tally.

“Base sa polisiya ng DOH, mananatili pa rin ang Lalawigan ng Aurora sa kanilang opisyal na talaan bilang COVID-free sapagkat siya po ay nagpositibo sa loob ng 14 na araw simula nang siya ay dumating dito sa ating lalawigan, na ang ibig sabihin ay sa labas niya nakuha ang virus,” Noveras said in a statement.

[Translation: Based on the DOH policy, Aurora province will remain COVID-free in the DOH’s official tally because the confirmed case tested positive for the virus within 14 days of arriving here, which means she contracted the virus outside of the province.]

He said the province will only “officially” log a confirmed case of the disease in the DOH data if the patient had infected one of her direct contacts.

In its provincial COVID-19 count, Aurora province tallied one confirmed case as of August 13, but indicated that the case is "from other province."

According to the Baler municipal government, the patient is being treated outside Aurora.