Councilors in Central Visayas included in list of PUIs, PUMs
CEBU CITY, Philippines – While Cebu remains free of any confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, surveillance officers in Central Visayas recorded a total of 178 people suspected to have the disease as of March 12, 2020.
Data from the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (Resu) of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) showed there are 53 individuals classified as Patients Under Investigation (PUIs) while 125 are Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs).
Dr. Shelbay Blanco, RESU chief, said the figures included those who attended the two-day Philippine Councilors’ League (PCL) in Pasay City, Metro Manila last February 27 – 28.
Blanco, however, begged off from providing the specific numbers, adding that their contact tracing is still ongoing, and findings remain unofficial as of today, Thursday (March 12).
He is the 39th patient in the country. Health officers also found out he visited Greenhills Mall in San Juan City where two other COVID-19 patients were traced to.
Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH – 7 director, told reporters at a press conference that Patient 39 is now under critical condition, and is hooked to respiratory support inside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a privately owned hospital in Dumaguete City.
“He is under guarded condition after it was found out that he is immunocompromised…brought about by his immuno-repression therapy after he had a liver transplant,” said Bernadas.
(Dr. Kenneth Coo, the President of the Philippine College of Physicians and Chairman for the Crisis Preparedness and Management committee earlier told CDN Digital that the patient had undergone kidney and not liver transplant.)
High Index of Suspicion
Bernadas said that of the 53 PUIs, 47 of them have no travel history in countries not covered by the travel ban.
The remaining five, he said, are placed under self-isolation.
The DOH – 7 official attributed the tracking down of a COVID-19-positive patient to their decision to expand the case definitions of PUIs and PUMs.
“This is one of the innovations DOH – 7 has done in line with the recent developments of COVID-19,” Bernadas said.
“The reason behind this was – it was agreed between DOH – 7 and the Infectious Disease Specialist to treat PUIs and PUMs who have High Index of Suspicion,” Bernadas said.
High Index Suspicion, he said, served as their indicator to widen their monitoring protocols of suspected COVID-19 cases.
“High Index of Suspicion is outside of our decision tool… So, that’s how we were able to track one positive case,” he added.
37 PUIs in Mandaue City
Breakdown of Resu’s data also showed that most of the PUIs, with 37, are confined in hospitals based in Mandaue City. Two are found in Cebu province; two in Bohol; one in Negros Oriental; one in Siquijor; and two in Cebu City. /rcg
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