A coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patient in Sulu, who is the province's second but currently the only active case, left his quarantine facility in Jolo town without clearance from authorities, an official said Tuesday.
According to Jainab Abdumajid, spokesperson of the Sulu Task Force COVID-19, the male patient, who is a former overseas Filipino worker (OFW), passed through a glass window in his room on Sunday night, avoiding police officers guarding the facility.
The patient, who was confirmed on June 8 to be positive of the infectious disease, has been staying in the facility for two weeks already.
He was placed under quarantine after arriving in Jolo on May 31 with 30 other repatriated OFWs on board a government-facilitated vessel from Manila. A swab specimen was taken from him four days into his quarantine.
He was supposed to undergo another swab testing on Monday as precaution before he can be released after completing the mandatory quarantine period.
Jainab said a massive search operation for the patient has been conducted, starting from his house and immediate relatives, to avoid possible community transmission of the virus.
However, the patient remains nowhere to be found.
The local government of Sulu and the local police appealed to residents to report the whereabouts of the patient.
The first COVID-19 patient in the province died weeks after the positive result came out.