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DOH-7 chief: Possible quarantine of people who came in contact with Wuhan woman

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio January 31,2020 - 02:35 PM

Dr. Jaime Bernadas, Department of Health in Central Visayas director, (center)  gives updates on the Wuhan coronavirus threat in the region. | Delta Dyrecka Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — People, who would be found to have encounters with the 38-year-old woman — the first case of Wuhan coronavirus in the country, might possibly be quarantined as a precautionary measure.

Dr. Jaime Bernadas, Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) director, said that these people would have to be assessed first by the Bureau of Quarantine in Central Visayas (BOQ-7) and a joint team from Manila of the BOQ and the DOH.

Read more: Contact tracing, probe into travel history to Cebu, Dumaguete of PH first confirmed coronavirus patient now underway – DOH

This team from Manila, which will be sent to Cebu to help in tracing the itinerary of the Chinese woman, will be the ones to decide if those, who have come in contact with her will be quarantined or not.

“They could be quarantined. It depends on results of the investigation of the Bureau of Quarantine,” said Bernadas in a press conference on Friday morning, January 31, 2020.

Bernadas said they were trying to get as much information from the airline that the woman had travelled with and the passengers and crew that she had encountered.

They would also be checking the hotels that she had stayed in and where she could have gone as she travelled from Cebu to Dumaguete then to Manila. 

Bernadas also said the Chinese boyfriend of the woman had already been admitted with her in Manila, although no confirmation had been given if he was also positive of the virus. 

Read more: Here’s what you need to know on MCIA’s precautionary measures amid threat of 2019-nCoV

Dr. Terence Anthony Bermejo, BOQ-7 chief, said that immediately after the confirmation of the first case of coronavirus in the country, they then augmented the personnel at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) and other airports in the region. 

Intensified monitoring of incoming passengers are being done in order to prevent  the entry of symptomatic carriers of the coronavirus. 

Read more: Gwen explains quarantine of passengers over measure to ban flights from China

They are also waiting for the executive order of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, for the implementation of the 14-day quarantine of all inbound passengers from flights from China. 

Bermejo said he could not yet say if they were fully capable of implementing the ban, but he was expecting logistical augmentation from the Capitol. 

Meanwhile, Bernadas encouraged hotels to be more vigilant with their guests as a precautionary measure. 

Should they suspect a case of the coronavirus, they should quarantine the guest in his or her booked room. 

Bernadas discouraged the transferring of the patient to another room as exposure must be kept to a minimum. /dbs

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