CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The candidate of this city to the Ms. Universe Philippines 2020 pageant has dropped out of the derby after she got infected by the dreaded Covid-19 virus.
In her Facebook post last Friday, 23-year old Vincy Vacalares disclosed she test positive for the virus. “This means I will not be able to continue with my journey to the Miss Universe Philippines crown this year,” she said “with a heavy heart.”
The beauty queen aspirant said she and her team did their best to strictly follow all the health and safety protocols, “but still the virus hit me.” She urged those who had contact with her “to please inform the City Health Office so they can also check on your state of health status. I pray that you are safe from the virus,” she added.
Vacalares did not offer details on how, when, and where she got infected with Covid-19. She said she is now confined in a hospital in Metro Manila, and assured her family, friends, and supporters she is “in good hands.”
A Technology Communication Management degree holder from the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines in 2017, Vacalares is now a high school teacher in a private school.
Vacalares was crowned third runner-up in the Ms. Cagayan de Oro 2019 pageant. She also won both titles in the Ms. El Salvador City and Ms. Camiguin beauty tilts in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Currently under the Modified General Community Quarantine, CDO carries out non-pharmaceutical interventions including aggressive contact tracing and enforcement of minimum health protocols in public areas.
Dr. Gina Itchon, Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) research and development chief, said the cases would have been higher if the city had not implemented aggressive containment strategies early on.
“Our analysis of what accounted for the slight delay (in the surge of Covid-19 cases in Cagayan de Oro City) is the city’s containment strategies which provided enough quarantine facilities very early on and we paid attention to new arrivals,” Itchon said.
She blamed the recent surge in Covid-19 cases on the “minority who mindlessly didn´t comply with the health protocols that prevented the city from overcoming the virus. If not for them, the city´s situation would be a lot better,” she stressed.
In a related development, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno has acknowledged the statement of Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones about gradually shifting to face-to-face instruction in “low-risk areas,” but said he prefers to put the city on “stable ground.”
Moreno said Manila must deal with the increasing Covid-19 cases, noting the rising cases since the pandemic was declared in March. As of Saturday, health officials said the city has a total of 1,212 cases, 383 of whom remain active, with 775 recoveries.
Photo courtesy of Miss Universe Philippines