Three patients under investigation (PUI) for 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) have died while waiting for their results from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), the Department of Health-Region 11 (DOH-11) said Thursday.
Dr. Anabelle Yumang, DOH-11 director, said two of the patients–both septuagenarians–had existing ailments prior to their death, while the 68-year-old casualty developed fever and cough.
The first patient, a 78-year-old, had travel history in Australia and arrived at the country on February 17 and had developed Covid-19 symptoms on March 14.
“The patient had a pre-existing bladder cancer stage 4 and the cause of death is uremic sepsis secondary to complicated urinary tract infection,” Yumang said.
The other septuagenarian–a 71-year-old–had a travel history in Laguna and Metro Manila and arrived in this city on March 9.
“The patient had complaints on epigastric pain with shortness of breath and had undergone an operation at the Southern Philippines Medical Center,” she said.
The patient died from septic shock secondary to generalized peritonitis secondary to perforated peptic ulcer disease.
Yumang said the sexagenarian patient–a 68-year-old Korean businessman–had a travel history in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Manila and arrived on March 9 in the country.
“The patient developed fever, chills, and cough,” she added, without elaborating the cause of death.
In a report released Thursday, DOH-11 said the three fatalities were among the region’s 54 PUIs confined as of 6 p.m. on Wednesday at the Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in Tagum City and SPMC here.
Yumang said DOH-11 is currently waiting for the results of the tests to determine if the three fatalities had been infected with Covid-19.
DOH Undersecretary Abdullah Dumama, Jr. said they are working on expediting the results of the confirmatory tests from the RITM.
“Our problem really is transport. We submitted the specimen on March 17 and I know that as soon as it will reach there, they will really do the testing right away,” Dumama said.
Dr. Cleofe Tabada, medical officer of DOH 11-Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU), said they have already conducted contact tracing on the families and all individuals the three fatalities had close contact with.
“We have traced possible people they came in contact within their community and the characteristics of their movements,” Tabada said.
She added that the South Korean community in the city vowed to help the DOH on the conduct of contact tracing. (PNA)