February 23, 2024

All nine persons under investigation (PUI) for the novel coronavirus in the Cordillera have tested negative for the virus, the Department of Health-CAR reported. The novel coronavirus is now called Covid-19 by the World Health Organization.
The former PUIs were advised to follow the advice of their physicians, and if they feel the same symptoms again, they were told to go to the nearest health facility, said DOH OIC Regional Director, Dr. Amelita Pangilinan.
Data for the Philippines showed the number of confirmed cases stood at three.
As of Feb. 12, the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, together with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, has identified all the 455 contacts of the first and second Covid-19 case.
Of the 455 contacts, 277 have been interviewed and 44 contacts with symptomatic symptoms have been admitted as PUIs.
For the third Covid-19 case, 246 out of the 731 contacts were traced. One hundred sixty-four contacts have been interviewed, where 149 were placed on home quarantine and 15 symptomatic contacts have been categorized as PUIs and admitted for isolation and monitoring.
Pangilinan said there is no local transmission of Covid-19. The three confirmed cases were all foreigners who have travel history to China.
On a global scale, no new country has reported a new case in the past 24 hours.
Pangilinan said quarantine measures implemented in various countries may have helped in the quick tracing of people who may have come in contact with PUIs and in the early identification of people who exhibit symptoms.
In the Philippines, in addition to the repatriation of Filipino workers from Wuhan, Hubei province in China, contact tracing and periodic updating of the DOH website for immediate access to information regarding the disease is being implemented.
DOH Sec. Francisco Duque III also declared a code blue in all government hospitals, health offices, and other health facilities for swift medical response.
The DOH earlier declared a code blue only in Region 3, host region of repatriated OFWs from China.
Code blue is an alert system for health emergency management in all hospitals in the Philippines.
One of the conditions in the declaration of a code blue is when there is a confirmed/documented report of emerging or reemerging diseases.
The Office of the Health Secretary also issued an advisory on the use of masks.
The DOH reiterated that people in good health do not need to use face masks.
Use of surgical masks is only recommended for persons caring for the sick, persons with respiratory infection, and healthcare and frontline workers such as the police and personnel of the Bureau of Immigration.
N95 masks, on the other hand, must be reserved for healthcare and other frontline workers who are attending to patients with respiratory infections; for those entering rooms of PUIs and confirmed Covid-19 patients; and those who are handling specimens, soiled medical supplies or equipment, or for those who come in contact with potentially contaminated environmental surfaces.
Wearing of masks should be done in combination with frequent handwashing using alcohol-based rubs, or soap and water.
Meanwhile, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center infectious diseases specialist Dr. Thea Cajulao clarified an earlier Courier report about the need to stay warm to protect oneself from acquiring upper respiratory tract diseases.
In a letter to the Courier, she said that merely wearing warm clothing is not a defense against Covid-19. – Rimaliza a. Opiña