TABUK CITY, Kalinga March 25 – Some family members and relatives of potential persons under investigation (PUIs) in the province criticized the administrations of the Kalinga Provincial Hospital and other private hospitals for allegedly not accepting the treatment and confinement of the said individuals due to lack of trained personnel and facilities to handle their cases.
Reliable sources, who requested anonymity for personal and security reasons, disclosed that there has been a surge of PUIs in the province over the past several days but the Kalinga Provincial Hospital reportedly refused to admit the said individuals wanting to undergo the required medical checkup considering that the said hospital does not have the trained personnel and the facilities to handle the sensitive cases as it is still a Level I hospital.
The sources disclosed that almost all of the PUIs, who have either mild or moderate symptoms of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), are now under strict home quarantine because of the decision of the hospitals not to allegedly admit them.
Farther, the sources claimed that the PUIs or potential COVID-19 cases in the province cannot be accommodated in Level 3 hospitals in nearby Region II because the said hospitals have been reportedly fully loaded for similar cases.
On the other hand, they revealed that the PUIs and their family members who will accompany them could not also travel to Baguio City because of the difficulty of travelling to distant places aggravated by the strict policy on social distancing, thus, the need for appropriate interventions from higher health authorities to allow government hospitals in the province to undertake the needed screening of the PUIs to ascertain who will be allowed to undergo the initial tests being undertaken by the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), a designated sub-national testing center.
According to the sources, while it is true that the status of the PUIs are being closely monitored by assigned health personnel, there is a need for the hospitals in the province to take proactive steps to ascertain who needs to undergo the 14-day quarantine and those who need to have their swabs sample taken for initial screening at the BGHMC subject to confirmation by the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) instead of allegedly sending them home.
The sources said that the potential PUIs have history of travel either from abroad or from Metro Manila aside from having mild to moderate symptoms of the deadly virus which warrants immediate action from the concerned health authorities instead of simply advising them to go on home quarantine.
Based on the recent data that was released by the Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR), Kalinga has some initial 11 PUIs where 3 are reportedly hospitalized, 7 are undergoing home quarantine and 1 has been already discharged for reportedly testing negative of the highly contagious virus.
However, in Tabuk City alone, there are some 17 PUIs where 16 persons are undergoing home quarantine while 1 individual was discharged from the hospital after testing negative of COVID-19 based on the initial test results.
By Dexter A. See