Health authorities in South Cotabato have been closely monitoring at least five residents who recently traveled to China and other countries with confirmed cases of the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid 19).
Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr., chief of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), said Wednesday the persons under monitoring (PUM) were undergoing self quarantine in their homes.
Aturdido said the PUMs, who are regularly monitored by their personnel, were required to complete a 14 day quarantine based on the protocol set by the Department of Health (DOH).
He said these individuals had history of travel to China, Hong Kong, and Malaysia based on the tracking conducted by the IPHO's epidemiology and surveillance unit.
They arrived in the country from January 31 until February 2 based on our records, he said, adding they were classified as PUMs due to their travel history but were not suffering from signs and symptoms related to Covid 19.
Aturdido said the monitoring protocol is mainly a precautionary measure and should not be a cause for alarm among residents. He reiterated that the province has no patient under investigation (PUI) or confirmed case of the disease.
PUIs are individuals with history of travel to China, where the Covid 19 outbreak was first reported, and other countries affected by the disease, and have shown related signs and symptoms, he said.
Our surveillance and tracking activities are ongoing, and we have implemented the necessary prevention and control measures for this, he said.
Aturdido said they were also working with the city and municipal governments in the province for the activation of the Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERT), as directed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Every 5,000 population must have one BHERT. This is important because the teams can help our health workers identify people from other countries who just arrived or settled in local communities, he added.
Source: Philippines News Agency