DOH, PHO trace contacts of Aussie-based female with coronavirus

DOH, PHO trace contacts of Aussie-based female with coronavirus

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The Department of Health Ilocos regional office (DOH-1) and the Pangasinan Provincial Health Office (PHO) have identified and are monitoring some people who had close contact with an Australia-based Filipina who tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

In a press conference Monday, PHO chief, Dr. Anna Ma. Teresa De Guzman said they have already identified the attendees of the class reunion, as well as the caterer during the event the Filipina attended while in Pangasinan while those she had close contact with were already quarantined.

“We are pleading the attendees to this reunion to coordinate and cooperate with us or the health authorities. About 20 of the attendees are offshore and they have already returned abroad,” she said.

DOH-1 regional director, Dr. Valeriano Jesus Lopez said the Australia-based Filipina arrived in Manila on Feb.12 and attended a wedding and a wake in Quezon City on Feb.15 and 19, respectively, before she went to Pangasinan on February 23.

Lopez said she attended a class reunion in an event center at Dagupan City, stayed overnight at their ancestral home and ate breakfast at a resort, also in Pangasinan.

On March 2, before she left Manila, she developed cough and later on tested positive of the disease in a test conducted in Australia.

“The caretaker of the ancestral home is in quarantine as well as the resort staff she had close contact with and so far, none of them are showing symptoms within the 14-day quarantine period,” he added.

Lopez further said they are extending the quarantine period for another week “just to be very sure.”

“Considering her arrival in the province, the 14-day quarantine period is done. We have also checked PHO’s monitoring of the hospitals in the province and there is no clustering of patients showing flu-like symptoms or respiratory disease symptoms,” he said.

Lopez also assured that as of writing, Ilocos Region is still Covid-19 free.

“No need to panic. No need to wear a mask if you are not sick. Practice proper handwashing and cough etiquette,” he added.

Meanwhile, Governor Amado Espino III advised local government units and barangay officials to take precautionary measures.

He reiterated the province’s call to cancel crowd-drawing events.

Espino on Feb. 13 issued an advisory postponing all scheduled public events and gatherings that are crowd-drawing in compliance with the recent advisories of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the DOH on the ongoing threat of Covid-19.

The advisory said public facilities of the provincial government that are used as venues for large meetings, conferences, conventions, seminars, sports events, reunions, concerts, weddings, and other similar events are temporarily closed.

Meanwhile, Lingayen town Mayor Leopoldo Bataoil and Bugallon town Mayor Priscilla Espino suspended classes on Monday at all levels, both in private and public schools, as a precautionary measure amid the threat of the Covid-19.

In his Facebook post on Sunday evening, Espino said the schools will be disinfected as well as the parks and other public places in the town.  Jerick James Pasiliao /PNA –