Another person in Region 12 confined for COVID-19 watch

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 3 Mar) – Another individual in Region 12 has been confined as a patient under investigation (PUI) for the deadly 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19), the regional Department of Health (DoH) said.

The new PUI was brought to an undisclosed hospital after the three others reported earlier have been discharged with negative results as of Friday, February 28.

As of late Monday afternoon, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine has yet to release the laboratory results of the new PUI case in the region, according to the DOH Soccksargen’s Center for Health Development.

Arjohn Gangoso, DOH-12 health education and promotion officer, earlier said there are 17 hospitals across the region that are capable of attending to the needs of PUIs.

He said the DOH has launched an information campaign on how to avoid COVID-19 in schools and communities and has trained hospital workers on how to address the disease that originated from Wuhan, China.

The Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit began the COVID-19 watch in the region last January 29.

Since then, 71 individuals were considered as Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs), of whom 62 have already completed their 14-day home quarantine.

Five PUMs are in still in home quarantine in South Cotabato and one each in General Santos City and the provinces of North Cotabato, Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat.

“With this, Soccsksargen region is still negative for COVID-19,” the DOH regional office said in a statement.

In General Santos City, the SM Mall management started Sunday employing thermometer guns, pointed to the foreheads of shoppers, in line with the effort to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

Mark Vincent Cordero, SM GenSan public relations officer, said the guards won’t let a shopper enter the facility if the thermometer gun indicates he or she has a fever.

“There have been instances when this health measure caused congestion in the entrances but shoppers seem to understand because it’s for the public good,” he said.

Cordero said all the major SM malls across the country have been implementing the thermometer check as part of the company’s contribution to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Every few hours, the handrails of elevators or those facilities prone to touching are being disinfected to ensure that our malls are sanitized o viruses, he added. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)