Friday, 05 June 2020

3 PUIs in Sarangani tested negative

ALABEL, Sarangan (March 17, 2020) – The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) released on Sunday (March 15) evening the results of swab samples of the two persons who traveled from Japan to Maasim town showing them negative from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Another resident of the town investigated for the deadly disease who came from Singapore also tested negative.

Dr. Arvin Alejandro, provincial health officer, disclosed this information but confirmed nine more PUIs (Persons Under Investigation) in the province are being monitored.

He said, out of the 12 PUIs, three were already discharged from a hospital, two were admitted in a hospital in General Santos City and, the one of the so-called Japanese descendants from Glan taken swab samples was discharged by Southern Philippines Medical Center to their temporary home in Tagum City for monitoring pending laboratory results from RITM.

The other six, he said, “are undergoing home quarantine.”

In the new algorithm of the Department of Health, PUIs exhibiting only mild symptoms like cough and colds with no respiratory distress will only be home quarantined.

Dr. Alejandro said they are ensuring stringent monitoring at checkpoints but to avoid traffic jam, two level checkpoints are in place at Malungon Gamay using thermal scanner while the travel history checklist which commuters must fill-out has to be submitted to the next checkpoint at Barangay Tinagacan in General Santos City.

Malungon Gamay is the entry point to Sarangani and GenSan from Davao.

Another checkpoint is in place at Barangay Maribulan in Alabel.

In Maitum, commuters from the Municipality of Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat have to pass a checkpoint set up by LGU Maitum. There are also checkpoints for incoming vehicles from General Santos City and South Cotabato (via Ned). Passengers are requested to alight from their car and fill out information forms for their identification and travel history. Checkpoints are manned by the Maitum PNP, MHO, and MDRRMO and barangay officials. A checkpoint was also set up at the Maitum Fishport.

As of this writing, Dr. Alejandro reported 267 PUMs (Persons Under Monitoring) in Sarangani. He said some of them “have history of travel sa ibang bansa lalo na sa Italy. Ito ‘yung pabantanyan natin sa municipyo sa Alabel since Italy has an uncontrolled local transmission.”

Dr. Alejandro said the provincial government is already “establishing readiness,” in case of a worse-case scenario.

Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon, he said, “is looking into possible facility for PUMs and PUIs. Mas maganda kasi i-contain lang ‘yung mga PUMs and PUIs in one place so lesser ‘yung mga worry natin for transmission.”

Admittedly he said “the household will not have a good practice of infection control pagka may mga PUIs tayo na may mga mild symptoms at their respective houses.”

He said, the governor is contemplating to use the China-funded Dangerous Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Alabel to be the facility for isolation of PUIs in the province.

Governor Solon, Dr. Alejandro said, “is already communicating with the director of the DOH for that purpose.” (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)

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