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DOH Caraga Confirms 1st Positive Of Covid-19 Patient

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As of April 6, 2020, at 6:00 AM today, DOH Caraga confirmed that a sample from a 68-year-old, male, with pre-existing medical condition, Filipino, Patient Under Investigation (PUI) tested positive for COVID-19 after results received this morning from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).

This is the first confirmed case in the region.The patient has a history of travel from the National Capital Region (NCR) last month and went back home in Butuan City last March 12. Upon arrival, the patient was tagged as Persons Under Monitoring (PUM) following home quarantine procedures. During the quarantine period, the patient developed COVID-19 signs and symptoms.

The patient is currently admitted at Caraga Regional Hospital in Surigao City and in stable condition.As of this time, the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit initiated the contact tracing of persons who interacted with or were in close proximity with the patient including the patient’s flight details.

“I would like to remind the public that this is something that we need to take seriously. Follow the policies set by the government and by DOH. Remember to practice physical distancing, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, boost your immune system, and avoid sharing unverified news,” Regional Director Jose R. Llacuna, Jr. said.

Meanwhile, DOH Caraga has also provided technical assistance to Butuan City government in the conduct of the rapid testing (Immunologic Method) for the PUIs admitted in the city hospital annex or the designated PUI Center.

There were reactive samples found. These tests, however, must be confirmed using the COVID-19 RT-PCR Test which is administered by the identified sub-national laboratories. Rapid test kits will measure antibodies present but not the viral load which is why a confirmatory RT-PCR based test is still required.

The samples from the rapid tests taken will be brought today to SPMC for confirmatory testing.As of April 5, 2020, yesterday, the regional office has already tallied a total of twelve (12) PUIs where four (4) are currently admitted and eight (8) are on strict home quarantine.

There are still pending lab results.“I also urge the public that unless necessary, please, Stay at home. COVID-19 cannot last without a host. Break the chain of transmission by staying at your homes,” the health chief concluded.

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