2 nurses test negative for COVID-19, discharged from hospital; trike driver added to PUI list

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2 nurses test negative for COVID-19, discharged from hospital; trike driver added to PUI list

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Two nurses who were placed under investigation for suspected COVID-19 infection have been discharged from hospital isolation while a tricycle driver who, like the two health workers, was in contact with a coronavirus-positive patient, was added to the local Patients Under Investigation (PUI) list.

Doctor Yul Lopez, spokesperson of the Capitol’s anti-COVID-19 technical working group, said that both nurses’ first swab samples tested negative for the disease based on results released by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

The two nurses, one male and one female, were discharged on Wednedsay afternoon even without the result of the second confirmatory tests. Lopez explained that their discharge came after they were observed to have already been asymptomatic.

PUIs were previously to be discharged only when two swab samples taken from them 24 hours apart both test negative, but protocols have changed.

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“Niay bag-ong protocol na gipadangat sa Department of Health (DOH) nga bisan sa unang test basta asymptomatic ang pasyente mahimo ng e-discharge sa doctor,” Lopez said.

Meanwhile, six other PUIs also tested negative for COVID-19 in their first tests. They were also asymptomatic but they were still isolated pending a follow-up clinical evaluation to be conducted by the physician in charge.

There are 10 PUIs in Bohol including the tricycle driver and all of them were in contact with the 60-year-old Chinese woman who tested positive for the disease and traveled to Bohol late last month. They were identified through the aggressive contact-tracing efforts of health authorities.

The tricycle driver who was confined at an isolation ward starting Wednesday afternoon was the latest to be added to the PUI list.

According to Lopez, the tricycle driver picked up the Chinese woman when she was discharged from the hospital on January 31, 2020.

The DOH however previously noted that the woman was already asymptomatic and may have already been free of the disease when she was discharged and left Bohol then later the country.

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The driver was identified through a closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) footage. He was then considered a PUI after admitting that he experienced coughing.

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“Medyo it took time kay gitan-aw g’yud nato ang mga CCTV sa kalsada,” Lopez said.

Other PUIs in Bohol are the following:

  • Female Nurse (Test Awaited)
  • Male Fastcraft Crew (1st Test Negative)
  • Male Fastcraft Crew (1st Test Negative)
  • Male Fastcraft Crew (1st Test Negative)
  • Make Fastraft Crew (Test Awaited)
  • Male Fastcraft Passenger (First Test Negative)
  • Male Fastcraft Passenger ( Test Awaited)
  • Female Fastcraft Passenger (1st Test Negative)
  • Female Fastcraft Passenger (1st Test Negative)
  • Make Tricycle Driver (Test Awaited)

Except for the tricycle driver, all PUIs were in considered to have been in contact with the COVID-positive woman during a Cebu City-Tagbilaran City trip onboard an Ocean Jet Vessel on January 20.

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Lopez has repeatedly explained that PUIs are not confirmed to be infected with COVID 19, but are persons who have larger chances of having contracted COVID 19 due to contact with a person found positive for the disease.

As per DOH protocol, those who show symptoms of COVID 19 such as fever, cough and colds and recently traveled to China and its administrative regions or was in contact with a person positive for the disease will be considered as PUIs.

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All PUIs are not charged for their admission and meals at a public hospital. Only those who choose to be quarantined at a private hospital will be required to pay.

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