MANILA – The Philippines will now start using the new classification of persons who are confirmed or suspected to have been infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Thursday.

Nograles said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Wednesday approved Resolution 24, authorizing the use of new terms for Covid-19 cases.

“The updated nomenclature in classifying individuals for the surveillance and management of the Covid-19 health event is adopted,” Nograles, spokesperson of IATF-EID, said in a virtual press briefing aired on state-run PTV-4.

Following the issuance of IATF Resolution 24, patients under investigation (PUIs) with mild, severe, or critical symptoms whose results have not yet been released will now be categorized as “suspect” cases, Nograles said.

Nograles said PUIs with inconclusive test results are now classified as “probable” cases.

He noted that the persons under monitoring (PUMs), or those who are not exhibiting symptoms despite exposure to a Covid-19 patient, would still be referred to as PUMs.

He added that PUMs would still be reported and managed.

“Gagamitin na po natin ang mga bagong terminolohiya sa pagklasipika ng mga indibidwal na pinagsu-suspetyahang may Covid-19 o kumpirmadong may Covid-19 (The new terminologies in classifying individuals suspected or confirmed to have acquired Covid-19 will now be used),” Nograles said.

The Philippines initially classified Covid-19 cases as either PUIs or PUMs.

On April 11, the Department of Health revised the classification system by adopting the terms “suspect,” “probable,” and “confirmed” for Covid-19 cases.

The IATF-EID on Monday night approved the recommendation to direct all government agencies and local government units to adopt the modified classification of Covid-19 cases.

As of Wednesday, the Philippines has 5,453 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 349 fatalities and 353 recoveries. (PNA)

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