A 51-year-old female from Catarman, Northern Samar is the first confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) case in Eastern Visayas, the Department of Health (DOH) regional office reported on Monday.
The DOH received the test result from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine on Monday, the same day the patient was supposed to be discharged from the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban City after she recovered from mild to severe flu-like symptoms.
The patient went to Japan and arrived in Manila on Jan. 2. She stayed in Greenhills, San Juan for two months. She arrived in Catarman, Northern Samar on March 4 and manifested severe acute respiratory Infection symptoms on March 7.
She was admitted to a hospital in Northern Samar on March 10 and was transferred to EVRMC on March 12.
“The patient’s condition improved and was subsequently wheeled-out of the intensive care unit with an occasional cough. She would have been discharged on Monday had the result been negative. We have to tell her we have to do two more tests,” said DOH Regional Director Minerva Molon.
The DOH regional chief assured the public that the DOH in Eastern Visayas is on top of the situation as they are able to “manage the patient who has greatly improved and is now recovering”.
“A team has been sent to the area to conduct contact tracing. This is to ensure all contact is managed well and taken samples for laboratory confirmation. Symptomatic contact will be isolated and collected samples, this is to stop local transmission. We are also implementing measures to protect the health staff providing care to the patient,” Molon said.
The DOH regional office has recorded a total of 237 patients under investigation (PUIs). Of the total, one is from Biliran, two from Borongan City, 34 from Calbayog City, 40 from Eastern Samar, 19 from Leyte, 10 from Maasin City, 59 from Northern Samar, four from Ormoc City, 42 from Samar, 15 from Southern Leyte, 10 from Tacloban City, and one from Baybay City.
At least 15 PUIs are currently admitted and 31 have been discharged but still under strict monitoring, according to the health department.
Molon urged the public to stay calm and remain vigilant even if the region has a positive Covid-19 case. He urged the public to observe social distancing, continue the practice of good personal hygiene. (PNA)