Health workers now as PUIs

AS THE number of confirmed coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases and deaths increased, the Department of Health (DOH) reported a high number of health personnel exposed to a confirmed Covid-19 case, who died at the Philippine Heart Center (PHC).

The DOH on Saturday afternoon, March 14, reported 34 new Covid-19 cases bringing the total to 98 with eight mortalities.

As of 2 p.m. Saturday, the DOH also said the PHC has 13 patients under investigation (PUIs), composed of 12 health workers and one non-health personnel.

In addition, Vergeire related the PHC already sent home four patients under monitoring (PUMs) after previously being quarantined in a restricted area in the hospital, while an additional six PUMs are still quarantined in the facility.

The number of PUMs already in home quarantine are still being verified, noted the DOH.

Vergeire said the high number can be attributed to their exposure to Patient 37.

“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),” said Vergeire.

As of Saturday, she said the PHC has already limited its hospital operations to accommodate inpatient and emergency cases only.

Services in the outpatient department were temporarily stopped last March 11 and are expected to reopen on March 16, while the catheterization laboratory, where Patient 37 had her procedure, was also closed and disinfected.

Hospital services for Z-benefit packages and elective cases have also been temporarily canceled until further notice.

“Currently, the human resource complement of PHC is being realigned by the management to provide continuous service to the admitted patients,” said Vergeire. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)