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Bureau of Quarantine, local health units are on top of coronavirus situation: DOH-7 assures

By: Rosalie Abatayo January 21,2020 - 08:06 PM

CEBU CITY , Philippines — The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) assured the public that the local health units and the Bureau of Quarantine are on top of the situation amid their confirmation that a Chinese boy is under investigation for testing positive for a non-specific strain of pan-coronavirus.

DOH-7 Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas said the BOQ and the health units in towns and cities, as well as hospitals, are fully aware of the protocols that they have to observe when facing the coronavirus threat.

“Ang atong Bureau of Quarantine gikan pa sa atong first nga order ni Secretary [Francisco Duque III] adtong January 10, duna na tay heightened surveillance. Ang heightened surveillance mao man ang pagbantay sa arong mga seaports ug airports aron makita nato ang tanan nga mosulod sa atong nasud,” Bernadas said in an interview on Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 21, 2020.

Bernadas added that their protocol on the coronavirus is not new among health workers considering the previous history of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (Mers- Cov), both caused by different strains of the corona virus.

Bernadas said the 5-year-old Chinese boy, whom Health Secretary  Francisco Duque III confirmed to have tested positive for an unidentified strain of the virus, is currently under isolation.

“Naa ni siya sa isolation nga duna tay infection control measures para di ni siya motakod sa uban ug sa mga empleyado sa tambalanan,” Bernadas said.

Bernadas said the child arrived in Cebu from Guangzhou, China at 2 a.m. on January 12.

Based on the boy’s travel documents, Bernadas said the boy and his mother are originally from Wuhan City in China, the same place where the novel coronavirus strain was first reported.

The coronavirus from Wuhan City, dubbed as coronavirus 2019, has reportedly cost four fatalities to date.

“Pag-abot niya diri sa Cebu, nagmanifest siya og fever ug upper respiratory infection busa na-admit siya sa tambalanan. Nakuhaan siyag laboratory samples,” said Bernadas.

The health official said the child’s condition has already improved and has already become asymptomatic since he was admitted on the morning of January 12. However, the child and his mother remains in isolation in a medical facility in Cebu City pending the release of the confirmatory test from Australia.

“Gipadala pa man nato for confirmation sa Australia kung unsa siya nga strain. Pirmero nga examination nga gihimo sa RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine), mo-match siya sa corona virus pero dili pa ma-determine kung bag-o ba siya o daan ba siya [nga strain],” Bernadas said.

Bernadas said all they have determined from the first test of the RITM is that the coronavirus that the child got was different from that of Sars and Mers-Cov.

While the samples have already been sent out to Australia over the weekend, Bernadas said that they are expecting the results to be out within 24 to 48 hours from today, January 21.

Bernadas added that they are now tracing all people that had contact with the boy and his mother upon arriving in Cebu, including those that were with them in their flight heading to Cebu. /rcg

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