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Davao City, Philippines

Health workers reported as PUIs, PUMs

March 14, 2020 - Saturday 6:03 PM by Jon Joaquin

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The Philippine Heart Center (PHC) is limiting its services after several health personnel were exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), the confirmed case (PH37) was the previously announced mortality on March 12 who was admitted at PHC.

“PH37 was reported to have no history of travel and close contact to a confirmed patient. Several of the PUIs (persons under investigation) and PUMs (persons under monitoring) were exposed to PH37. Prior to the confirmation of the PH37’s diagnosis, healthcare workers were managing the case as a non-communicable case and were unable to wear the required personal protective equipment (PPE),” the DOH said.

It said as of 2 p.m. Saturday, the PHC has 13 PUIs — 12 health workers and one non-health person. 

PHC on Saturday sent home four PUMs who were previously quarantined in a restricted area in the hospital, while an additional six PUMs are still quarantined in the facility.

The PHC is also currently verifying the number of PUMs in home quarantine, the DOH said.

“As of now, PHC is limiting its hospital operations to accommodate in-patient and emergency cases only. Services in the Outpatient Department were temporarily stopped last March 11 and are expected to reopen on March 16. The Catheterization Laboratory where PH37 had her procedure was also closed and disinfected,” the DOH said.

“Hospital services for Z-benefit packages and elective cases are temporarily cancelled until further notice. Currently, the human resource complement of PHC is being realigned by the management to provide continuous service to the admitted patients,” it added.

The DOH said in addition, Rizal Medical Center in Pasig City has also reported several health workers being exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

It said it is still verifying data on the exact figures and the updated conditions of the health workers.

“I assure our health workers that you have the full support of the whole Department as we go through this ordeal together,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said in a statement.

“I commend the commitment of our health workers who, amidst the risks they are currently facing, are still serving and saving the lives of our kababayans. Our commitment to safeguard the health and well-being of our healthcare workers remains to be our priority,” Duque said.