DOH-7: Confirmatory tests on Wuhan coronavirus should also be done in Cebu

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio January 30,2020 - 04:46 PM

Dr. Shelbay Blanco (right) of the Department of Health in Central Visayas gives updates of the Wuhan coronavirus in a press briefing on January 23, 2020 . CDN file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) is hoping that confirmatory tests for the 2019-novel coronavirus or Wuhan coronavirus can be done in Cebu. 

Doctor Shelbay Blanco of the DOH-7 said confirmatory tests for the virus as of the moment could only be done abroad, particularly in Australia. 

However, the DOH in Manila already procured the reagents that would allow the confirmation of the new coronavirus strain.

This would mean that confirmation of suspected cases would soon be faster as the specimen would no longer be sent abroad. 

Read more: Cebu City Task Force Coronavirus makes organized approach to combat 2019-nCov

Cebu City has three suspected cases of Wuhan coronavirus, with one confirmed negative to the novel strain. 

The specimen for the two remaining suspected cases have already been sent to Manila and DOH-7 is waiting for the results. 

Read more: DOH now monitoring two other PUIs in Cebu City for suspected 2019-nCoV

Blanco said they were hoping that once Manila could begin to do confirmatory tests, Cebu would also be allowed to do so. 

“It will depend on the logistics of the national DOH. We are looking into doing confirmatory tests done in Cebu,” he said. 

Blanco said that if confirmatory tests could be done locally, the confirmation of suspected cases would be faster for the entire region. 

This will also fast-track the isolation and treatment of confirmed cases. 

Read more: DOH to public: Stay healthy, protect yourselves from coronavirus, other diseases

Meanwhile, Blanco is encouraging the public who are experiencing flu-like symptoms and suspecting of the novel coronavirus to go directly to DOH referred hospitals such as the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center. 

He said private medical centers might not be equipped to handle a suspected case or novel coronavirus.

These hospitals are allowed to refuse patients suspected to be infected with the virus. /dbs

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TAGS: Department of Health in Central Visayas, DOH-7, health, Wuhan coronavirus

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