3 more PUIs who died in Region 12 test negative for COVID-19

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 30 March) — Three more persons under investigation (PUI) in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) who died while awaiting laboratory confirmation for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) have tested negative for the virus.

Arjohn Gangoso, health education and promotion officer of the Department of Health – Region 12 (DOH-12), said Monday these were based on the test results released over the weekend by the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.

He said the three were among the seven PUIs in the region who expired while undergoing treatment for various illnesses, including suspected COVID-19 symptoms.

Of the seven deceased patients, he said four have so far turned out negative, one was positive (PH600) and two with still pending laboratory confirmation.

Based on the DOH-12’s COVID-19 situation report as of 5 p.m. Sunday, the seventh PUI death in the region involved a 62-year-old female from North Cotabato who expired in a local hospital last March 26.

The patient, who eventually tested negative for the virus, had no history of travel to areas with confirmed COVID-19 cases but had hypertension and suffered a stroke.

The two other deceased PUIs, the fourth and fifth cases, who turned out negative were a 72-year-old male from South Cotabato and 30-year-old female from this city who died on March 23 and 24, respectively, due to acute respiratory illness.

The patient from this city had advanced ovarian cancer while the South Cotabato PUI had diabetes, hypertension and suffered a stroke.

Last week, the second PUI death in the region, a 51-year-old male patient from South Cotabato who succumbed last March 17 due to severe acute respiratory illness tested negative for COVID-19.

The first reported PUI death in the region, PH600, an 87-year-old male from Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat who died last March 14 in a hospital in Tacurong City, had turned out positive of the disease.

Gangoso said the laboratory results for the third and sixth cases, a 37-year-old female from North Cotabato who died last March 20 and a 72-year-old female from South Cotabato who expired last March 26, respectively, were still pending.

“We’re expecting the results to come out within the week,” he said.

He said they were also waiting for the laboratory confirmation of 47 other PUIs who are currently undergoing quarantine in the different parts of the region.

As of Sunday afternoon, Gangoso said a total of 24 PUIs were still admitted in various hospitals, 81 under home quarantine while 33 were already discharged.

He said at least 1,600 persons under monitoring (PUMs) have yet to complete the 14-day mandatory home quarantine.

Gangoso added that the confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region remained at three, with the first (PH 145) listed as already recovered and discharged, the second (PH 599) under home quarantine and in stable condition, while the third (PH 600) had died.