SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – The Antique Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) said the Starlite Ferries roll-on-roll-off (RoRo) passenger who died at the provincial hospital in this town succumbed to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and not due to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
IPHO information officer Irene Dulduco said in an interview on Tuesday night that they received the swab test result of the 45-year-old male Monday night “and it turned out to be negative of Covid-19”.
She added that since the swab test result of the passenger was negative, the other passengers onboard the RoRo has nothing more to worry about.
“The 39 passengers coming home to Antique onboard Starlite with the demise passenger and who were advised to be on home quarantine until the swab result would come out, could now feel relief,” Dulduco said, adding they are no longer required to be on home quarantine.
The man, who was dropped off by Starlite Ferries at Lipata Port in the town of Culasi last March 20 for medical treatment at the Culasi District Hospital, had tuberculosis and must have failed to take his medicines when he had COPD attack while onboard the RoRo vessel on his way home to Negros Occidental from Batangas Port via Antique.
“Upon receiving the negative swab test result of the passenger, we again contacted his family in Manapla, Negros Occidental about their plan but was told to proceed with the burial because they do not have money to transport his cadaver,” Dulduco said.
The body was buried in San Jose public cemetery Monday night.
Meanwhile, Antique Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao in an interview with the Provincial Information Office (PIO) Tuesday afternoon, clarified the province is not on a lockdown despite the Covid-19 threat.
The governor said that Executive Order 35-B issued last March 19, 2021, is still binding and being implemented in the province.
“The Executive Order 35-B still allows the Returning Antiqueños and Returning Overseas Filipinos to come home,” she said.
Returning Antiqueños and overseas Filipinos just have to comply with several requirements such as Notice of Coordination and Notice of Acceptance from the receiving municipal governments. (PNA)