4 who came in contact with nCoV cases test negative

- Four persons who came in close contact with the Chinese couple who were the first two reported cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the country after visiting this city and other areas of Negros Oriental, were found negative of the viral disease.

In a press briefing at the Provincial Health Office here on Thursday afternoon, Dr. Liland Estacion, Assistant Provincial Health Officer and commander of the province's Incident Command System on nCoV, and Capitol spokesperson Bimbo Miraflor, said the swab test results from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) showed that the four were nCoV-free.

The four belonged to the first batch of close contacts who volunteered for screening at the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital (NOPH) following the contact-tracing done by health authorities here.

The number of persons under investigation (PUIs) -- or those who have exhibited flu-like symptoms and were isolated at the NOPH -- has reached eight, including the four who tested negative for nCoV, Miraflor said.

Of the eight, five were from the hotel and resort in the province where the Chinese couple had stayed from January 22 to 25, one was a passenger/seatmate in one of the flights that they took, one had traveled to Taiwan, and one to Hong Kong, he said.

All of them are Filipinos, he said.

As to persons under monitoring (asymptomatic and on home quarantine), the number remained at 38, Miraflor said.

Estacion said that while they welcomed the news, they were awaiting the results of a second test of the four people for confirmation to make sure that they are, indeed, negative of the nCoV.

We are still awaiting the second round of swab tests because we cannot declare them totally negative because that is the protocol of the Department of Health. And in the meantime, we cannot still discharge them from the hospital, she said, adding that the four are all healthy.

On the other hand, they were also expecting more results from the RITM in the coming days for the other PUIs.

The swab tests of the other PUIs have also been sent to the RITM and authorities here are expecting the results this weekend.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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