The Region 1 Medical Center (R1MC) here has recorded the first patient under investigation (PUI) for the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (nCoV ARD).
In a press conference Tuesday, R1MC chief of medical professional staff, Dr. Rizaldy Guico, said the patient, a 28 year old Filipino, was admitted Monday.
She went to the hospital yesterday to consult the doctor about her lingering cough. She was admitted to the hospital and was immediately isolated, he said.
Dr. Rowena Virrey, doctor in charge for the patient, said the PUI was allegedly experiencing flu like symptoms days before traveling to Taiwan.
She went to Taiwan on February 4 and returned to the Philippines on February 8. However, her condition worsened before flying back home, she said.
Virrey said they were initially uncertain whether to admit the patient as she was already showing the symptoms a few days before her trip to Taiwan, but admitted her still.
We do not want a possible PUI to be exposing herself to the public, which is why we ultimately decided to admit her to investigate further, she said.
Virrey said the R1MC assigned a specific medical team to handle her needs.
Naso pharyngeal and oropharyngeal specimens are collected regularly and if results are consistently showing negative results, the patient would be discharged, she added.
Virrey urged the public not to panic, as she advised the relatives and people who had contact with the PUI to stay home, practice proper hygiene, and eat and sleep well.
We must remember that this is the season for these kinds of illnesses. We would like to reiterate that we can prevent ourselves from getting sick by maintaining a strong immune system, she said.
Meanwhile, the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office (PPPO) is now on alert and warns to file charges against persons spreading fake news about the 2019 nCoV.
In a recent interview, PPPO director Col. Redrico Maranan said there are existing laws that penalize the spread of wrong information.
Presidential Decree 90 or rumor mongering or unlawful utterances; Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code, which penalizes purveyors of false information; and the Republic Act 10175 or the Anti Cybercrime Law, he said.
The policemen have undergone awareness seminars to fight and stave off false information circulating whether in social media or by word of mouth, Maranan said.
As of writing, there are still no complaints recorded at the PPPO or any of the police stations in the province concerning the spread of misinformation.
Maranan said the Philippine National Police is continuously assisting health authorities to prevent the spread of 2019 nCoV.
The PPPO is also assisting in contact tracing through interaction and coordination with the local government units and barangay officials.
Maranan said the public should not hesitate to report to the police if someone in their community is having flu like symptoms.
Policemen deployed in the coastal areas of western Pangasinan are advised to take caution as these areas are prone to be in contact with Chinese fishermen.
Source: Philippines News Agency