DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 March) — The total number of cases of novel coronavirus cases disease (COVID-19) in the Davao Region surged to 48 after 18 new patients were tested positive for the infection, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao reported on Sunday.
In a report released at 4 p.m. on Sunday, the DOH-Davao said five have recovered from the infection.
The region listed a total of 415 persons under investigation (PUIs), 258 of them testing negative for COVID-19.
On Saturday evening, the agency reported that out of 11 PUIs who died, four tested positive , four negative and three were awaiting results.
The report did not indicate case numbers and details of the patients.
The surge in number was expected by health officials as tests for COVID-19 are now done at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), a sub-national laboratory for COVID-19, capable to process at least 60 a day in two loads of 30 each. It takes eight hours to process the specimens according to SPMC director Dr. Leopoldo Vega on March 25.
In the past, specimens had to be sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Manila.
DOH-Davao regional director Annabelle Yumang said in a text message Sunday morning that details of the deceased PUIs are with the hospitals where they are confined. The Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City, which confirmed three of the four deceased PUIs were their patients, had yet to respond to the query.
The SPMC currently houses 20 patients who have Covid-19 while Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in Tagum City has two.
The DOH-Davao said extensive information gathering and contact tracing to all persons, who came in close contact with the patients, have been contacted.
“DOH is coordinating with concerned agencies to expedite the contact tracing,” it added. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)