By Marie Tonette Marticio
TACLOBAN City – A 36-year old foreign worker from Wuhan, China remains under investigation here after the release of initial tests results from the Research institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa.
His sample was collected on Jan. 25 and tested at RITM last Monday (Jan. 27).
Department of Health-Region 8 Information Officer John Paul Roca said the results of the laboratory test showed the patient was negative for SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus), but RITM will run more tests to determine the possible strain of coronavirus.
The foreign national arrived in the city on Jan. 17 and manifested influenza-like symptoms such as unproductive cough and fever, prompting him to visit a hospital for a check-up.
Roca said the patient has been isolated in one of the hospitals here since Jan. 23 with good condition, normal vital signs, and no cough nor fever.
He added that the person under investigation will be discharged once laboratory results are negative.
The Department of Health- Eastern Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH-EV CHD) maintained that there is no confirmed case of 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD) here or within the region.
The official also said they remain vigilant in monitoring possible cases of 2019-nCoV ARD that might enter in the Region, as Health Secretary Francisco Duque III confirmed Thursday (Jan. 30) the first positive case of the illness in the country.
DOH-8 advised the public, especially those with a history of travel to Wuhan; Hubei, China; or countries with confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV ARD, or who are experiencing influenza-like symptoms such as fever, cough, and colds, to immediately seek medical attention.
“The DOH-EV CHD is doing our best effort to monitor possible cases and give health education and advisories in public and all media platforms for more awareness and actions of the 2019-nCoV,” Roca said.
He also urged the public to remain calm but vigilant and to always practice hand hygiene, observe proper cough etiquette, maintain distance and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the crook of the elbow, and avoid close contact with people manifesting flu-like symptoms.
“Also avoid contact with farm and wild animals, cook food properly, and adopt a healthy lifestyle to mount immunity against infections,” Roca added.