PHO: 1 COVID-19 case, 29 PUIs, 47,860 PUMs; Death: 1 PUI

PANGASINAN UNDER LOCKDOWN

THE province of Pangasinan registered its first case of COVID-19 when a man from Bayambang confined in a still undisclosed hospital turned out to be positive of the virus according to the Provincial Health Office.

This is in addition to the 29 Patients Under Investigation (PUIs), one of whom died Wednesday at the Region 1 Medical Center (R1MC), and 47,860 Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs) reported by PHO.

Meanwhile, the lone PUI fatality, a 68-year old woman from Rosales, was reportedly first brought to a hospital in Urdaneta City before he was transferred to R1MC where he was isolated and died.

It was reported that the woman died before the result on her throat swab from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) could be released.

But what is alarming is the increasing number of Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs) that already reached 47,860 as of Friday.

“The high risks remain, said  Provincial Health Officer Dr. Anna de Guzman, who has directed all PUMs to undergo and completed the 14-day quarantine in their homes as a precautionary measure against COVID-19.

She said so far, some 800 have completed their quarantine.

A PUM is a person who may have been in contact with or exposed to a PUI or anyone with COVID-19 who may not have any symptoms of the disease at all, thus the need for him to quarantine.

The data on PUM was culled from the consolidated report from all rural health units and city health offices in the province,

A report noted that almost all the PUMs came from the National Capital Region (NCR) who joined the exodus to the province since March 13 before the entire Metro Manila was locked down on March 15 for the Community Quarantine declared by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Under an executive order issued by Gov. Amado Espino III, all those who returned to Pangasinan or those who came from COVID-19 affected areas outside the province, including the NCR, or from abroad were directed to report to their respective barangays and barangay emergency response teams for monitoring.

De Guzman said PUMs are monitored by rural and city health officials of COVID-19 symptoms which include fever, dry cough, difficulty of breathing or shortness of breath, and fatigue while in quarantine.

Persons that manifest any of the symptoms, an ambulance brings them to the nearest Level II and III hospitals in the province and will be placed in isolation, requiring throat swabs as specimens for the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine for laboratory examination..

Dr. De Guzman clarified that a PUI is not yet a confirmed case of COVID-19 unless his or her specimen is officially confirmed as positive by RITM so a COVID-19 carrier could be asymptomatic (no symptoms).

For persons and PUMs to avoid ending up as PUIs, De Guzman said they must observe proper handwashing, use alcohol or sanitizer, eat nutritious food, take  Vitamin C and Vitamin B complex to boost their immune system. (Leonardo Micua)

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