A male seafarer from Hamtic, Antique has been identified as a person under investigation (PUI) due to travel history to China.
Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) information officer Irene Dulduco said the seaman is now under quarantine at a hospital in Antique.
The statement released by the IPHO on Feb. 3 said the 29-year old PUI went home to Antique last Jan. 31 but a flu-like symptom was noted since a week earlier prompting him to see a doctor on February 3.
The PUI is now doing well, she said.
Dulduco said the PUI, however, will remain under quarantine until there will be laboratory confirmation for his nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
Meanwhile, IPHO chief Dr. Ric Noel Naciongayo, in a previous media interview has said the people are being advised to first evade being in crowded areas.
Let us first avoid being in crowded areas so as to avoid acquiring diseases, he said.
He also said the people should have to strictly observe basic hygiene like hand washing.
Since there is a scarcity of masks it must be used rationally and efficiently, he added. As an infection control measure, those who are coughing and with low immune system should wear masks, he said.
Meanwhile, Gerald Tung, in-charge of the IPHO emerging and reemerging diseases, said since last Feb. 1 they have already deployed health personnel to screen passengers every time there is a Philippine Airlines flight to Antique.
We have two personnel assigned at the airport every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, he said.
He said there is also an ambulance on standby just in case there would be a passenger who has a flu-like symptom.
We have a questionnaire provided to the Philippine Airlines which is being distributed by its steward to the passengers on board the plane, he said.
Tung said the questionnaire indicates the health status of the passenger. With this, they can be properly referred by the flight crew to the health personnel upon arrival at the Antique airport for their assistance.
The IPHO also provided masks for the lone airline carrier PAL to Antique from Clark and vice versa for passengers to use before boarding the plane.
Source: Philippines News Agency