By Minerva Newman
DUMAGUETE CITY—All eight persons under investigation (PUIs) in Negros Oriental have all been found to be negative for the novel coronavirus (nCoV), after three swab tests of PUIs also came back negative, Negros Oriental Provincial Information Officer Bimbo Miraflor said in a press briefing Monday morning.
Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Dr. Liland Estacion is now waiting for the confirmatory tests of all eight PUIs and if they have negative results from their second round of swab tests, they can be discharged.
“All PUIs are ready for discharge, but pending the swab results, we cannot discharge them yet. When all PUIs have negative results, that’s the only time that the Department of Health (DOH) declares the whole country nCoV-free,” Dr. Estacion said.
According to Dr. Estacion, the province of Negros Oriental will continue to monitor the situation until there is a declaration from DOH that Negros Oriental and the country are nCoV-free.
Miraflor told the media that there are only three remaining persons under monitoring (PUMs) in Negros Oriental — one Polish woman and three Chinese tourists. They have a history of travel to Hong Kong and China.
In an FB-live media briefing Monday, Miraflor said most of the PUMs have completed their 14-day quarantine period and all are in good health, with no signs of fever or other symptoms related to nCoV.
He said that five PUIs tested negative for the nCoV ARD after one swab test result that arrived today, Monday.
Estacion hopes that within the week all the eight PUIs will have negative results from their second swab laboratory tests. The PHO is still waiting for the results of the remaining three PUIs.
Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Remollo, in his statement on the latest updates on the PUMs, said there is a good reason to be happy about the outcome of the concerted efforts in containing nCoV.
“I commend our frontliners from the City Health Office, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Public Information Office, the Department of Health, the province of Negros Oriental, our local police, and our people for remaining calm and cooperative,” Remollo said.
With the nCoV risk still a pressing issue, the mayor urged people to remain vigilant, observe clean habits, not to believe in and avoid spreading rumors, be prayerful, and trust in the government.
nCoV updates from Dumaguete City
City Health Officer Dr. Maria Sarah Talla also reported that the last three remaining PUMs have completed their mandatory quarantine and found to have no manifestations of flu-like signs and symptoms of the novel coronavirus.
Talla said this is in addition to the twenty PUMs who earlier completed their quarantine and also did not manifest signs and symptoms of possible infection, as monitored by the City Health Office.
All 23 persons that had some contact with the nCoV-positive Chinese couple who visited the city on Jan. 21 have been cleared by the City Health Office (CHO) of possible nCoV infection.
The PUMs have also been issued fit-to-work certificates by Dr. Talla so they can return to their jobs.