Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo. (File photo)

The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday reported that the number of persons under investigation (PUIs) for possible infection of the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD) has gone up to 215 since the contact tracing of the third confirmed case.

“Of the PUIs, 184 are currently admitted and isolated, nine have refused admission, 17 have been discharged under strict monitoring, while two have died of other causes. The first PUI death is a case of pneumonia in an immune-compromised patient while the second PUI death is a case of pneumonia in a patient with underlying restrictive lung disease,” Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said in a press briefing at the DOH central office in Manila

Domingo urged the PUIs who refused admission to cooperate with the DOH, the local government units (LGUs) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“It is our duty as citizens of this nation to assist in protecting the health of our fellowmen. We owe it to the Filipino people to do our part in preventing the spread of this disease and put everyone’s minds at ease,” Domingo said.

The DOH, through its Centers for Health Development, is coordinating with the LGUs and the PNP to assist PUIs who are refusing hospitalization.

It is also in close coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs and concerned embassies on foreigners refusing admission.

“The 215 total already includes the three confirmed 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease (ARD) cases, of which one is still admitted, one has been discharged, and one has died. Meanwhile, 57 PUIs have tested negative and three tested positive for the 2019-nCoV, and DOH is awaiting 155 results,” Domingo said.

As of Thursday, the DOH Epidemiology Bureau (EB), together with the PNP-CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group), has identified all 441 contacts of the 1st and 2nd nCoV cases.

Of the figure, a total of 379 were passengers and crew from flights taken by the confirmed cases while 62 contacts were from hotels, resorts, hospitals, public vehicles, and other places visited by the confirmed cases.

“Of the contacts reached, 203 were placed on home quarantine, wala silang signs and symptoms gaya ng lagnat at ubo (they don’t have signs and symptoms like coughs and colds), while the 32 contacts exhibiting symptoms were categorized as PUIs,” Domingo said.

He added that the remaining 206 have yet to be interviewed due to erroneous contact information but the EB is already coordinating with the PNP and local authorities to facilitate contact assessments and interviews.

“EB has initiated contact tracing upon the release of the laboratory result of the third confirmed case,” he said.

To date, the DOH reported that 106 contacts were traced which included the 90 co-passengers and 16 individuals from hotels and hospitals in contact with the third confirmed case.

It added that 22 contacts have been interviewed and were placed on home quarantine, while four symptomatic contacts have been categorized as PUIs.


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