ANKARA

One new coronavirus case has been recorded in Bangsamoro, the Philippines’ autonomous Muslim-majority region, raising the total to 12, an official said on Friday.

According to Health Minister Saffrullah Dipatuan, a 22-year-old male student from Datu Saudi Ampatuan region in Maguindanao province tested positive for COVID-19.

He was among the 16 stranded students quarantined in Cebu City, the minister said.

“All the students were brought directly to the Maguindanao Provincial Hospital. They weren’t allowed to go back to their homes,” he said.

Dipatuan said four COVID-19 patients have died in Bangsamoro so far, seven have recovered, and one is under treatment.

The Bangsamoro Inter Agency Task Force (IATF), which is leading the region’s fight against the pandemic, urged people to stay calm and follow safety guidelines.

“This development should not cause panic. The patient is currently stable and underwent immediate isolation upon arrival,” said IATF spokesperson Mohd Asnin Pendatun.

However, he added that Bangsamoro’s battle against COVID-19 is “far from over.”

“The public must observe the guidelines set by the IATF. We need everyone’s cooperation and understanding,” he said.

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