Cebu’s case of Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) through local transmission remains at one. But unless it turns up to be “false positive”, there could be more, this time covering the entire Central Visayas region. The region could have four more, making it six in all as other than the Cebu case, there was also one in Negros Oriental, a town councilor in Tayasan, who died recently.
The specimens of the four were sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City. “Those that were brought to RITM are for confirmation. We still can’t release it,” Dept. of Health (DOH-7) regional director Jaime Bernadas told reporters in a mix of English and Cebuano earlier tonight in a press briefing at the Cebu provincial capitol Bernadas said 50 specimens of Patients Under Investigation (PUI) were tested on their newly acquited testing kits and 46 turned out to be negative.
Those negative, he said can already be released in the hospital but the others who are still subject for further test and confirmation would remain. “Those that we found out to be negative were 46. So meaning there are 4 that we sent to Manila for confirmation. So if for confirmation, we have to wait for the affirmation from RITM.”
Bernadas added as the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) has been identified as one of the sub-national laboratories (SNL’s) for COVID-19 detection in the country.
The DOH top man in the region would not say categorically however if the test of the four in VSMMC were positive but the announcement of Bernadas came as he was among the government officials in the region who met with Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Sec. Michael Dino issued an order that placed the “entire Visayas region” in implementing a curfew for all students at all levels effective 3:00 PM on Sunday (March 22) along with those who are 65-years-old and above.
The curfew as explained by Governor Garcia is a means to ensure that the youth and the elderly would be compelled to stay in their houses on a “24-hour basis.” Based on the profile of COVID-19 patients, those that are most vulnerable are the old persons especially those with pre-existing health conditions.
The first confirmed case of COVID local transmission in Cebu happened in Mandaue City. According to Bernadas, the Patient (PH) no. 188 is a 65-year-old medical doctor who is undergoing treatment at the Mandaue City’s Chong Hua Hospital.
The patient is recovering already and is now asymptomatic and if his next test would already yield a negative result, he can already be discharged from the hospital. /AAJ