The regional health office said Sunday they will look into the reported death of a person under investigation (PUI) whose family had opted to bring him home for self-quarantine before his reported death Friday.

Palawan News was told by the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU), the health department’s regional arm consolidating all information coming from the MIMAROPA provinces, that they have yet to receive information about the case.

“Walang na-report ang City sa RESU. Wala pa kaming natatanggap [na information] about [the deceased PUI], pero we will verify,” Geraldine Perez, health education and promotions officer of DOH-RESU told Palawan News.

The death of the PUI patient, a 61-year-old male local resident, was announced by the City Health Office (CHO) early Sunday.

The health department said they will confirm if proper protocols were observed when the PUI’s family refused to isolate the patient and be subjected to a confirmatory test.

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“It is the health facility or the attending physician who has the authority to classify [the patient] as PUI based on their assessment. In case naman he refuses to submit himself for further investigation or medical management, [we] have policies naman. We have Republic Act (RA) 11332,” said Romalyn Racho, regional head of Health Education and Promotions Unit of DOH.

DOH reiterated that the existing law has no partiality to religious affiliations when asked to comment on speculation about the family’s refusal to subject the patient to swabbing for COVID-19 confirmatory test.

“Nakikipag-coordinate na sa Ospital Ng Palawan (ONP) since ONP ang nag-handle ng case. Pero walang execption ang batas as to religion ng possible COVID-19 patient. This particular issue will be investigated,” Perez added.

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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.