COVID-19 watch isolates 9th PUI

FOUR HEALTH DADS ALERTED ON COVID-19—TOWN HEALTH OFFICIALS WERE CAUTIONED OVER COVID-19 as home-coming OFWs might be able to evade or slip quarantine if they come from the restricted areas... (L-R): Dr. Trifony Luchana of Mabinay Medicare, CPH., Dr. Raul Encarnation of Bayawan, District Hospital., Dr. Liland Estacion, Assistant Provincial Health Officer and Gov. Roel Degamo, NegOr Governor.

DUMAGUETE CITY – The provincial govern-ment of Negros Oriental has reported its ninth person under investigation (PUI) for the 2019 novel coronavirus (Covid-19) just a day after the first eight PUIs tested negative of the virus and were released from quarantine and isolation.

Governor Roel Degamo, at a press conference at the old session hall of the Capitol on Wednesday morning, said that while the eight PUIs were already released this past weekend, “we will still await the second confirmatory tests from the RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine)”.

The ninth PUI, meanwhile, is a Filipino woman from Bayawan City, Negros Oriental, who has a history of travel to Hong Kong and had exhibited respiratory symptoms such as cough.

She is now in isolation at the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital (NOPH) here awaiting results of throat swab tests from the RITM.

She volunteered for quarantine and was picked up and brought to the NOPH over the weekend by a provincial government vehicle and a medical team specifically assigned to cater to suspect Covid-19 cases, Degamo said.

Meanwhile, four other Filipinos in Bayawan City are categorized as persons under monitoring (PUMs) after their recent return from a trip to Taiwan, Degamo said. Their quarantine period of 14 days ends on Feb. 18.

The three foreigners, one Polish and two Chinese nationals who were last week categorized as PUMs for having a history of travel from Hong Kong and China, respectively, had finished their quarantine period here and were cleared for departure either via Cebu or Manila to return to their respective destinations.

Meanwhile, 10 PUMs/PUIs have already each received PHP5,000 assistance from the provincial government to cover for their absence while under quarantine, while others still have to complete the requirements at the Provincial Social Welfare Office.

Degamo has reiterated that while there is no travel ban against foreigners or even Filipinos who have come from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan, his executive order still stands to have them undergo quarantine, whether self-imposed or seek medical attention at the NOPH if symptoms occur.

Dr. Liland Estacion, Assistant Provincial Health Officer, in the same press briefing reassured that there is a team composed of health officials, the police, and emergency services crew to monitor hotels, resorts, and Airbnb facilities to ensure that these travelers are, indeed, under quarantine.

She said that so far, they have not received reports of tourists violating the governor’s directive. (By Judy Flores-Partlow – PNA)