By Marie Tonette Marticio
TACLOBAN City – The Department of Health in Eastern Visayas (DOH-8) has now reported four more persons under investigation (PUIs) in the region, including a 7-month old infant, for 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
As of Feb. 7, the regional DOH said there were 11 PUIs, two of whom have already been discharged for negative results of the virus and another one after the lapse of the 14-day isolation. Eight persons under monitoring (PUMs) were also cleared after 14 days with no symptoms reported.
The 8th PUI is a 38-year old Filipina who had been working in Zhengzou, Henan, China since 2017. She went home to Leyte for a vacation on Jan. 2. On Jan. 27, the patient, who has a known history of asthma, experienced difficulty in breathing and palpitations.
The 9th PUI is a 36-year old American female who is a resident of Shanghai, China. She traveled to Ormoc City on Jan. 23 and sought medical attention the day after due to colds, occasional cough, and slight chest discomfort.
The 10th PUI is an 11-year old Filipina with travel history to Hong Kong from Jan. 16 to 20. She stayed in Tacloban on Jan. 25 before going to her hometown the next day. She experienced fever on Feb. 1 and sought consultation after two days.
The 11th PUI is a 31-year old Filipina who was a previous PUM. She is currently experiencing fever and dry cough.
DOH-8 regional director Minerva Molon said they already collected first and second samples from the PUIs and would be sending them to the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM).
Molon maintained there is still no confirmed coronavirus case in the region, contrary to information spreading on social media.
Dr. Carmen Garado, chief of the Local Health Support Division, has attributed the increase in the number of PUIs in the region to their proactive surveillance system and increased health-seeking behavior of the public.
“Even those who are asymptomatic call our hotline, as long as they have travel history to areas that have confirmed nCoV cases,” she said.
Meanwhile, Police Regional Office 8 Deputy Regional Director for Operations Police Col. Arthur Cabalona said Eastern Visayas police have activated a quick response team ready to assist in the tracing of persons who had close contact with the persons under investigation (PUIs) for nCoV.