The Department of Health (DOH) 7 on Monday confirmed that one patient in Bohol is under investigation for suspected novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection while 14 others have also been labeled as persons under investigation or PUIs in other parts of Central Visayas.
The suspected case in Bohol was already reported by Dr. Cesar Tomas Lopez of the Provincial Health Office during the second meeting of the Capitol’s anti-nCoV technical working group (TWG) on Friday last week.
He said that the patient is a 31-year-old Chinese woman who traveled from Hong Kong.
“Tanang taw na gikan sa China, dili lang Wuhan, na dunay sipon ug hilanat na mosud sa Bohol person under investigation na ni siya,” he added.
Lopez assured the public that the patient was being isolated pending the results of a confirmatory test done at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) that would determine if the person is indeed infected with a coronavirus.
“Di ta angay mabalaka kay naa ni siya sulod sa usa ka isolation room unya bantayan ni siya, dili na ni makagawas,” he added.
DOH 7 director Doctor Jaime Bernadas in a press briefing on Monday said that there are 15 PUIs in the region—11 in Cebu, one in Bohol and three in Negros Oriental.
“Wala pa tay reports na problema sa atong mga admitted patients. Ang atong gihulat nalang ang resulta gikan sa RITM,” Bernadas said.
The region’s top health official attributed the increase of the number of PUIs in Central Visayas to updates in the case definition of PUI and the ongoing contact tracing.
He noted that PUIs have been recently defined as people who are showing symptoms of the disease and have travel history to China, not just Hubei province where the city of Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicenter, is located.
Persons identified to have been in contact with those showing symptoms will also be considered as PUIs.
After the first nCoV case in the country was confirmed last week, the national government imposed a temporary travel ban on visitors from mainland China and its special administrative regions, Macau and Hong Kong on Sunday.
Just hours after the order was announced, the DOH confirmed the first nCoV death in the Philippines which was also the second nCoV case in the country and the first death recorded outside of China.
Earlier, two Chinese nationals aged two and 36 who showed symptoms of the disease and were briefly quarantined at two separate hospitals in Tagbilaran City last week, tested negative for coronavirus.
Lopez noted that the two individuals who have already left the country were only suffering from common colds.