BAGUIO CITY March 18 – The City Health Services Office (CHSO) disclosed there are some one thousand four hundred ninety (1,490) individuals classified as Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs) who might have been in close contact with Persons Under Investigation (PUIs) or confirmed Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) cases.
CHSO infectious disease cluster head Dr. Donabel Tubera said that of the PUMs who had been identified through intensive contact-tracing, 202 persons were able to complete the 14-day quarantine period while 1,288 individuals are still in the process of completing the quarantine period.
Further, she added there are some 17 PUIs in the city with 9 persons already discharged from the health facilities and 8 individuals still awaiting the confirmatory test results of their samples sent to the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM).
The CHSO medical officer claimed most of the PUIs and PUMs have history of travel not only in identified countries that are hot spots but also in areas in the country that have confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Tubera claimed the PUMs already include the 5 close contacts of a 24-year old employee of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) who recently tested positive of COVID-19 but said individuals are reportedly doing well as they were obliged to undergo mandatory self-quarantine in their respective residences.
According to her, the city remains free from the deadly virus amidst the influx of people wanting to undergo the COVID-19 test with the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) which had been designated by the health department as of the sub-national testing centers for the deadly virus.
BGHMC infectious disease specialist Dr. Thea Pamela Cajulao revealed the hospital is currently catering to the needs of some 7 PUIs, 6 of whom are adults and 1 individual a minor who was brought to the medical facility from Pangasinan due to underlying medical conditions.
She stated that one of the confined PUIs is in critical but stable condition because of underlying medical condition.
The BGHMC medical officer pointed out that despite the expected arrival of COVID test kits to the hospital, persons with severe COVID-19 symptoms will still be prioritized to undergo the confirmatory test to maximize the use of the test kits made available for such purpose.
She emphasized the confirmatory test results of the confined PUIs are simply being awaited from the RITM as they remain isolated to prevent the possible spread of their illness that will have a great impact on the ability of the hospital to effectively and efficiently handle such critical illness.
Cajulao assured that the hospital’s personnel and units of equipment are ready at all times to attend to the medical needs of people, especially in the light of the COVID-19 outbreak and confirmed community transmission of the virus in the country.
By Dexter A. See