MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed 34 new cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), bringing the total number in the country to 98 as of Saturday.
The details are still being validated by the agency as it also verifies “reports of additional cases”.
On the same day, the DOH also reported two new Covid-19 deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to eight.
While further details are being polished, the DOH advised the public that the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) is limiting its services after several health personnel were exposed to a confirmed Covid-19 case.
Patient No. 37 who died last March 12 was admitted at PHC, said the DOH.
“PH37 was reported to have no history of travel and close contact to a confirmed patient. Several of the PUIs and PUMs were exposed to PH37,” Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a Facebook live briefing.
Prior to the confirmation of Patient No. 37’s diagnosis, healthcare workers were managing the case as a non-communicable case and were unable to wear the required personal protective equipment (PPE).
“As of 2 p.m. today, PHC has 13 patients under investigation (PUIs) – 12 health workers and one (1) non-health person. PHC sent home four patients under monitoring (PUMs) today who were previously quarantined in a restricted area in the hospital, while an additional six (6) PUMs are still quarantined in the facility,” she said.
The PHC is also currently verifying the number of PUMs under home quarantine.
As of now, the PHC is limiting its hospital operations to accommodate in-patient and emergency cases only. Services in the Outpatient Department were temporarily stopped last March 11 and are expected to reopen on March 16.
In addition, the Rizal Medical Center in Pasig City has also reported several health workers being exposed to the Covid-19 virus. DOH is still verifying data on the exact figures and the updated conditions of the health workers.
The agency, meanwhile, assured that DOH fully supports all health workers working on the Covid-19 situation.
“Our commitment to safeguarding the health and well-being of our healthcare workers remains to be our priority,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement read by Vergeire.
Meanwhile, he asked the public to do its part in mitigating the spread of the disease and ask for cooperation by practicing preventive measures.
“Our frontline health workers and medical personnel are risking their safety to respond to the needs of the public, all we ask is for you to do your part: practice preventive measures, go on strict home quarantine if you are experiencing mild symptoms, and help halt the spread of fake news. The success of our measures to contain COVID-19 is hinged on your participation. We will get through this together,” he added. Joyce Ann L. Rocamora /PNA – northboundasia.com