Twenty persons under investigation (PUI) have completed their mandatory 14-day home quarantine and were cleared by the health department as they had not shown symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

The Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) of the Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday also reported a decrease in the number of PUIs in Palawan from 61 of the previous day to 41.

“As of today, seven PUIs tested negative for COVID-19, five from Oriental Mindoro and two from Palawan,” the DOH stated.

Two other PUIs were cleared for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) based on confirmatory tests done by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). One was the PUI who was admitted to a hospital in the province and one member of the medical staff of the Ospital ng Palawan (ONP) who attended to the PUI whose family had refused COVID-19 testing before he died last week.

Geraldine Perez, health education and promotion officer of the regional health office, confirmed the negative test result of the unidentified ONP health worker.

“Yes, one staff tested negative, pero [we will not disclose] the identity,” Perez told Palawan News.

The ONP is currently waiting for one more result from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

One doctor and a nurse from ONP were subjected to COVID-19 confirmatory tests, after handling the deceased PUI whose family refused isolation and testing.

Meanwhile, Palawan currently has a total of 46 PUIs, 5 of whom remained isolated in different hospitals in the province and 41 under home quarantine as of 3 p.m., Saturday (April 11).

DOH announced also Saturday that the health department would shift to a different COVID-case recording based on a new guideline set, subsequently dropping persons under monitoring (PUM) in COVID-watch.

“PUM will not be included in the new classification because of evidence of community transmission in the country. The residents are assumed to have been exposed to the infection,” said Administrative Order No. 2020-0013.

However, the regional office has yet to clarify certain concerns over possible under-reporting based on the new matrix.

“Meron tayong memorandum on the adoption of the Philippine Society of Microbiology and Infectious Disease (PSMID) guidelines on COVID-19. Doon na papasok lahat ng clinical management sa ating mga health facilities. COVID-19 Surveillance System shall be implemented for case detection at may mga specific forms ito na gagamitin kaya walang kalituhan na mangyayari as to case classification,” Perez added.