MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday reported a downtrend in the number of persons under investigation (PUIs) for possible coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-2019).
In a press briefing at the DOH main office, Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there are only 171 PUIs admitted in various health facilities nationwide as of 12 noon of Feb. 17, and 350 PUIs have been discharged after testing negative for the disease.
Vergeire said the downtrend could be attributed to the DOH’s strengthened surveillance and management intervention.
“Marami pang gaps sa mga kaalaman natin dito sa Covid-19, mayroon pang hindi nabibigyan ng (There are still gaps in the information about Covid-19, there are still no) definite answers and enough evidence for the scientific or epidemiology, source of the disease, its duration and all. The Department will not be complacent and will be more vigilant as we brace for the possibility of local transmission in our country,” she added.
To date, a total of 453 patients have tested negative for Covid-19, about 22 cases have pending test results, and the remaining patients are yet to submit specimen for testing.
Update on repatriates, contact tracing
Vergeire reported that all 49 repatriates at the New Clark City show no signs or symptoms of the illness.
“They’re monitored twice a day to ensure they’re well taken care of and we’re providing our kababayans with appropriate health services for their daily physical and psychosocial activities to keep comfortable during the 14-day quarantine process,” she said.
She added that the DOH Epidemiology Bureau reported that of the 280 interviewed contacts of the first and second cases of the disease, 221 have completed the required home quarantine procedure, while 14 are still on home quarantine.
The remaining 45 contacts were admitted as PUIs, of which 31 have been discharged, two are still currently admitted, six are under strict monitoring, and six are already outside the country.
“On the third confirmed case, a total of 255 or 34 percent out of 740 contacts were traced, including co-passengers and individual contacts from hotels and hospitals. Currently, 172 or 67 percent of traced contacts have been interviewed, of these 155 have completed their home quarantine. Of the 17 symptomatic contacts admitted as PUIs, 15 have already been discharged, and two are now out of the country,” Vergeire said.
Citing that most contacts of the cases under self-quarantine turned out well, Vergeire said the DOH still wants to get feedback on the other contacts who remain uninterviewed.
“Sinusubakan pa rin namin habulin ang mga hindi pa na-iinterview related to the second and third cases sa tulong ng PNP-CIDG, itong mga contacts nating nakalista, nagkaroon tayo ng mga erroneous na detalye, hindi natin nakuha ng maigi at nakontak nang maayos (We’re still trying to run after those who have not been interviewed related to the second and third cases with the help of PNP-CIDG, these listed contacts had erroneous details, we weren’t able to communicate with them),” she added. (PNA)