Leyte reports 1st confirmed COVID-19 case

Published April 18, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Marie Tonette Marticio

TACLOBAN City – After a week of no positive cases reported, the Department of Health in Region 8 (DOH-8) confirmed its first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Leyte province, bringing the total number of cases in Eastern Visayas to five.

DOH-8 Director Minerva Molon said the first COVID-19 case in Leyte was a 58-year old Filipina from Burauen, Leyte.

The patient arrived in Metro Manila from Guam on March 9. She went home to Burauen, Leyte on March 13 oboard a private vehicle with 16 relatives and friends.

Molon shared that the patient was isolated for being a person under monitoring (PUM) along with her companions.

On March 23, she experienced sore throat, fever, headache, and vomiting which prompted her to consult the rural health unit of Burauen, Leyte and Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in Tacloban City .

She was then classified as a mild patient under investigation (PUI) and was advised to undergo extended home isolation.

On April 8, Molon said the patient tested positive in the rapid testing, and was referred to the Provincial Health Unit and DOH-8 for another test, and yielded the same result on April 11.

On April 13, a swab specimen was taken from the patient. It was sent to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City which turned out positive Thursday, April 16.

The official emphasized that there was no cause for alarm since it was not a local transmission, and that they were able to bring the patient immediately to the referral hospital in Tacloban City.

However, the patient has not been listed under the probable and suspected COVID-19 cases in the local rural health unit because she was able to complete home quarantine, but did not disclose that she was advised by the referral hospital to undergo an extended home isolation.

The Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU), together with the Philippine National Police (PNP) is already conducting contact tracing in Burauen, Leyte, including the 16 other individuals who were with the patient when she arrived from Metro Manila.

Meanwhile, the official emphasized the need to wear face masks, practice social distancing, and washing of hands frequently from 10 seconds to 20 seconds. She also advised the public to avoid touching their mouth, eyes, and nose.