By Marie Tonette Marticio
TACLOBAN City – The Department of Health (DOH) in Eastern Visayas has placed another person under investigation (PUI) for possible infection of the 2019 novel coronavirus 2019 (nCoV) after her recent travel to Hong Kong and Macau.
DOH 8 Regional Director Minerva Molon said the 30-year old Filipina consulted at a hospital in this city on February 1 and is now under quarantine after having shown flu-like symptoms five days after her trip to the areas that have positive cases of nCoV.
The PUI arrived in the Philippines on January 21 wherein she developed symptoms such as cough and sore throat five days after her arrival.
Dr. Lory Ruetas of the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center said the PUI is now on her third day of quarantine in the hospital with stable vital signs and no complaints.
“We already sent samples to the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City morning Saturday,” Molon said.
Molon shared that they expect to get the results on Tuesday or Wednesday this week. This will be sent to the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia if the PUI tests positive for confirmatory testing.
Molon added that she would be discharged immediately if the results turn out to be negative.
Meanwhile, a 36-year old foreign worker from Wuhan, China was discharged from the hospital on February 1 after the release of his initial test results from the RITM.
He was asymptomatic and lapsed the 14-day isolation period, but was advised to stay away from crowded places unless cleared by other tests.
DOH 8 is under Code White after their central office has declared a national emergency.
Molon said the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit was in close coordination with concerned agencies, local government units, and hospitals to monitor possible cases in the region.
“We have staff assigned in airports in Leyte and Samar province to report PUIs and we advised the chief of hospitals to implement hospital infection control,” she shared.
Levels II and III hospitals in the region are likewise on standby for possible referrals while they were instructed to create an isolation room to prepare for the possible influx of PUIs.
EVRMC, the biggest hospital in the region, is now trying to capacitate their staff. They have also strengthened triaging or screening of patients and limit visitors to prevent any infection from spreading.
Ruetas said they plan to set up an intensive care unit in their isolation facility for any eventuality.