Woman says she caught COVID-19 despite weeks of 'zero contact with outside world'

Angela Coloma, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 02 2020 05:02 PM | Updated as of May 02 2020 06:49 PM

MANILA - A woman from Quezon City said Saturday she caught the coronavirus disease 2019 despite observing strict quarantine measures. 

Jaye de la Cruz-Bekema, 40, said she was rushed to the St. Luke's Medical Center on April 25 after a miscarriage. She was then 4 months on the way.

Under hospital protocol, she was asked to do a swab test. It was then she found out she had the disease. 

"I even told the nurse (in my desire to avoid getting a long stick up my nose lol), 'I’m sure I’m negative because I never left the house since March 13 and I have had zero contact with the outside world," she said in a Facebook post. 

But much to her shock, she later on received confirmation that she tested positive for the virus. 

"[April] 25 was the swab test, in 3-5 days before the results are out, on Wednesday night I got a call from my OB telling [me] the results," she recounted in an interview with ABS-CBN News. 

Bekema, who serves as chief legislative officer of Senator Risa Hontiveros, said the last time she was out was during a meeting with the senator and and her colleagues last March 12. 

"Our limited testing capacity only allows us to test those with symptoms and those with exposure, or those like me with a medical emergency. If I didn’t have a medical emergency, I would not be qualified for testing. If I can be positive — me who never went to any grocery and who was a paranoid pregnant germophobe — can you imagine how many asymptomatic carriers are out there?" she said on her Facebook post. 

Since authorities have placed Metro Manila on lockdown, Bekema has not had any exposure to the outside world - except for when her husband went out to do groceries two weeks before she got tested for the disease for the safety then of her baby. 

"'Yung husband ko ang may quarantine pass (My husband has the quarantine pass) [so he is the one who does the groceries]. The last time was two weeks from the Saturday of my testing. So technically parang 14 days lang din siya nasa bahay (he has been home for 14 days)," Bekema said. 

Self-quarantine under current coronavirus measures is for 14 days or two weeks. 

Bekema and her family are currently waiting for the local government to coordinate with them on how she should pan out self-quarantine measures now that she is recovering from the disease at home. 

"We are actually waiting for the barangay or DOH to call me. As of now wala pa po (there is none yet)," Bekema said Saturday, 7 days after testing positive for the virus. 

As of now, Bekema remains asymptomatic. But she said she does not discount the fact that she may experience more serious symptoms later on. 

"I’ll admit na I’ve been looking at symptoms, effects of COVID [on] our health, so I had an idea. So what to expect, so of course I'm afraid that the symptoms will soon come, like one day I wake up not being able to breathe, high fever one of these days," she said. 

Her husband, 2-year-old son and their househelp have all been tested for the virus and are currently under self-quarantine. 

She added that her experience "is a testament to how stealthy the virus is," as she urged the government to put more stringent measures in testing individuals. 

"We really have to listen to the science. What will it take to flatten the curve? And don't make people choose [between hunger or virus] Kasi lalabas at lalabas sila dahil wala sila makain (They will go out at some point because they don't have food to eat). They can be like me, they can be asymptomatic carriers," she said.