Press Release / 17 Feb 2020
The Department of Health (DOH) today revealed that as of 12NN today, there are 171 patients under investigation (PUIs) admitted in various health facilities. Additionally, a total of 350 patients have been discharged.
“The decrease in our admitted PUIs reflect the Department’s strengthened surveillance, assessment, and management interventions for the COVID-19 Health Event. Although we see a decreasing trend, the Department will not be complacent and will be more vigilant as we brace for the possibility of local transmission in our country,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said.
At present, 453 PUIs have tested negative for the 2019 novel coronavirus and there are only 22 cases with pending test results. The remaining patients have yet to submit specimens for testing.
“We cannot underscore more the importance of regular hand washing and observance of cough etiquette to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. I urge all our kababayans to continuously cooperate with the Department of Health to keep the risk of this new disease at bay. Together we can eliminate the threat of COVID-19,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III added.
Updates on Repatriates
All 49 repatriates at the New Clark City quarantine facility show no signs or symptoms of respiratory illness. Repatriates are monitored twice a day to ensure that they are well-taken care of.
“The health and well-being of our repatriates is of utmost importance to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and our Department. We are providing our kababayans with appropriate health services and daily physical and psychosocial activities to keep them comfortable during the 14-day quarantine process,” Duque said.
Updates on Contact Tracing
As of February 17, the Epidemiology Bureau reported that of the 280 interviewed contacts of the first and second cases of COVID-19, 221 have completed the required home quarantine procedure, while 14 are still on home quarantine. The remaining 45 contacts were admitted as PUIs, of which 31 have been discharged, 2 are still currently admitted, 6 are under strict monitoring, and 6 are already outside the country.
On the third confirmed case, a total of 255 (34%) out of 740 contacts were traced, including co-passengers and individual contacts from hotels and hospitals. Currently, 172 (67% of traced contacts) have been interviewed, of these 155 have completed their home quarantine. Of the 17 symptomatic contacts admitted as PUIs, 15 have already been discharged, and 2 are now out of the country.
“We are working with the PNP-CIDG and concerned local government units to expedite our contact tracing for the 3rd confirmed case. DOH is keen on ensuring that all those who may have come in contact with this case be immediately assessed and facilitated,” the Health Chief concluded.