By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – Five more persons under investigation (PUIs) under close watch in Northeastern Mindanao or Caraga region have tested negative for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as of Sunday, March 29, according to the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) here.
“DOH Caraga received the results of the third set of samples sent to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) and all five samples tested negative for COVID-19,” it added.
As of March 28, 2020, there are 20 remaining PUIs recorded with seven currently admitted in government hospitals, and 12 on strict home quarantine.
“Although results are favorable, this does not mean that we should be complacent,” stressed DOH 13 Regional Director Dr. Jose R. Llacuna, Jr.
“There is so much to do to halt the spread of this disease,” he said.
The region’s top DOH 13 official reiterated his appeal to stay calm and stay at home.
“I urge everyone to continue to stay at home, maintain physical distancing, regularly wash hands, observe proper cough etiquette and adapt healthy habits to strengthen defenses against infection,” stressed further Director Llacuna.
As of this time, there are 15 PUIs still awaiting lab test results.
“We thank our partners from the local government units (LGUs), uniformed personnel, health workers, volunteers and other stakeholders for their strong will and determination to combat COVID-19,” the region’s health chief said.
“The extensive measures set by the LGUs should be followed. Remember that anyone can be infected. Let us not lower our guards but instead sustain our heightened efforts,” added Director Llacuna, in a live-streamed press conference on Sunday.
The number of persons under monitoring (PUMs) have reached 6,975 spread in Caraga region’s five provinces and six cities.
At least 3,758 PUMs have already completed the 14-day quarantine, and showed no symptoms or signs of the disease.
In a related development, Butuan City Mayor Engr. Ronnie Vicente c. Lagnada disclosed that he was planning to establish Caraga’s first molecular laboratory for COVID-19.
It was learned that the city chief executive reached out to top region’s top health official about his plan to establish a regional testing center to expedite confirmation of COVID-19 cases.