MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday reported that the number of persons under investigation (PUIs) for possible novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection has gone up to 261.
“We are seeing a rapid increase in the transmission rate of the virus globally. In response, DOH has strengthened its capacity in preparation for the possibility of local transmission. All DOH hospitals are equipped to cater to the influx of patients and are following strict infection control protocols to contain the virus” Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said in a press briefing at the DOH main office.
Domingo said the PUIs are admitted in various health facilities. About 48 of them have been discharged under strict monitoring.
Meanwhile, 109 PUIs have tested negative and 3 tested positive for the 2019-nCoV. There are 202 cases pending test results from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
Domingo said the DOH Epidemiology Bureau and the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group have identified 441 contacts of the first and second case of 2019-nCoV on Sunday, February 9.
“Regarding the third confirmed case, a total of 224, that’s 56 percent, out of 403 contacts were traced, including co-passengers and individual contacts from hotels and hospitals. Currently, 147 or 66 percent contacts have been interviewed and were placed on home quarantine, eight symptomatic contacts have been categorized as PUIs and are admitted for isolation and monitoring,” he said.
DOH, DFA bring home Filipinos from Wuhan, China
Domingo also reported that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases led by the DOH and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Sunday repatriated a total of 32 Filipinos, including two DFA advance party personnel, from Wuhan City.
The 14 females and 18 males landed at the Clark Airbase in Pampanga and were transferred to the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac for the 14-day quarantine procedure together with eight members of the Philippine repatriation team, six plane crew members, and three ground crew operators.
Domingo said they did not manifest fever or any respiratory symptoms all throughout the journey back to the country.
“The repatriates are considered as Persons Under Monitoring (PUM) and are currently being observed and isolated. Our on-site medical staff from Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital will be working 24/7 to conduct daily monitoring of the vital signs and status of the PUMs, and provide appropriate health services to those who are quarantined,” he added.
To check any significant changes in their health status, Domingo said their daily monitoring is scheduled every 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
The DOH has also declared code blue in all government hospitals, health offices, and other health facilities in the region for swift medical response.
“Those who will develop symptoms, such as fever, cough and colds, and other respiratory symptoms, will be immediately brought to a designated hospital for isolation and proper clinical management. We will be closely monitoring them to ensure their safety, as well as the people within their vicinity,” the Health Chief assured the public,” Domingo said. Ma. Teresa Montemayor /PNA – northboundasia.com