CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The City Health Office (CHO) is currently investigating why the first coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patient with Omicron subvariant here was released without a certificate that he has been cleared of the virus.

During Wednesday's online briefing, Dr. Teodoro Yu Jr., the CHO medical officer, said they are in contact with Bugo's Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) to resolve some issues regarding the patient’s discharge.

The 38-year-old male seafarer was the first Omicron subvariant BA.5 detected in the entire Northern Mindanao region.

Responding through a phone interview, Bugo BHERT leader Noli Yagao, who gave the certificate of quarantine to the Omicron patient, said he issued the certificate as proof of completing the seven-day home quarantine.

Yagao said he has not received any report from the CHO confirming that the seafarer has been positive for Covid-19.

“If he has a positive result, then Manila should report it to the city. We have not received any report,” Yagao said, adding that it was too late when they knew that the seafarer was infected with the virus.

He also said the patient did not inform them that he is positive for Covid-19.

Yu said the CHO would not impose a legal action yet on the Bugo BHERT as they need to wait for a recommendation from their investigation team.

“We will look at what the recommendations are. We cannot immediately take legal action if we still don’t have the findings from our team,” Yu said.

Mayor Oscar Moreno said the seafarer had already been infected with the virus when he arrived in the city and went for home quarantine.

It was not clear why the seafarer's status appeared to have not been communicated to the officials of the barangay where he resides.

Moreno, however, insisted that the barangay's BHERT was informed of the patient's condition.

“On May 19, he (seafarer) got infected again in Makati, and then he went home to Cagayan de Oro, and he is positive. Although he stayed at home, he informed the BHERT of Bugo that he is positive,” Moreno said in vernacular.

On May 27, the seafarer was given a quarantine certificate by the Bugo BHERT.

Moreno pointed out that the certificate of quarantine is different from the certificate of recovery of patients. (PNA)