The first reported patient under investigation (PUI) in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) for the novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019 nCoV ARD) has tested negative for the virus, a regional official of the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday.
Dr. Imelda QuiAones, chief of DOH 12's epidemiology and surveillance unit, said the female Filipino patient has been cleared of the disease based on the initial confirmatory test conducted by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
QuiAones said they received the test result from RITM on Tuesday morning, a day after the patient completed her 14 day mandatory quarantine in an undisclosed private hospital here.
However, the patient will remain in isolation as she will be required to undergo another test in 48 hours, she said.
Based on the protocol of RITM, a patient who turns out negative will be subjected to another test for further confirmation, she said
in a press conference here.
QuiAones said if the second test also comes out negative, the attending doctor may recommend the patient's discharge from the hospital.
A report earlier released by DOH 12 said the patient had recently traveled to Singapore and Macau, China and arrived in the country last January 27.
The patient had sore throat and cough but had no fever when she arrived at the city international airport via a flight from Cebu last week.
She voluntarily submitted herself to quarantine upon arrival due to her symptoms and was declared a PUI as a result of her history of travel to China, the center of the 2019 nCoV outbreak.
QuiAones reiterated that there are no confirmed cases yet of 2019 nCoV in the region and necessary prevention and control measures are being undertaken by the DOH and concerned local government units to prevent its spread to the area.
As of Tuesday, she said at least 24 patients under monitoring (PUM) for the disease are on self quarantine in parts of Soccsksargen.
The PUMs are individuals who had a history of recent travel to countries with confirmed cases of 2019 nCoV but do not show any signs and symptoms of the disease.
DOH 12 said the PUMs, who include foreign nationals, had a history of recent travel to China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore.
Source: Philippines News Agency