DOH ready for local spread of virus

February 16, 2020
Francisco Duque III

WHILE the Department of Health is glad that most of the persons under investigation in the country tested negative for the 2019 novel coronavirus, it continues to gird for a possible local transmission of the disease.

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said that as of Friday, 386 PUIs have tested negative for the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and that there are only currently 66 cases with pending test results.

“We are glad that most of our PUIs tested negative for 2019-nCoV. While this is very welcome news, we at the DOH will continue our preparations for the possibility of local transmission,” he said.

At present, there are 191 PUIs who are at various health facilities. A total of 260 patients have already been discharged including the two confirmed cases. The DOH has also recorded one new PUI mortality due to cardiovascular attack. The patient was negative for the 2019-nCoV.

On Thursday, one repatriate, a 25-year-old female, was admitted to Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital due to fever and ear pain. The patient, who tested negative for the 2019-nCoV, was managed as a case of outer ear infection. Patient will be brought back to the New Clark City to complete the 14-day quarantine procedure.

Another repatriate, a 25-year-old female, will be referred to the Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center for further evaluation and management after exhibiting anxiety-related symptoms. The rest of the repatriates under quarantine remain to be with no respiratory symptoms.

As of Feb. 14, the Epidemiology Bureau revealed that of the 277 interviewed contacts of the first and second cases of COVID-19, 218 have completed their 14-day home quarantine while 15 are still on home quarantine. Forty-four contacts found to be symptomatic have been admitted as PUIs.