Male patient from Sultan Kudarat dies while awaiting virus test results

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 19 March) – The Department of Health (DOH)-Region 12 has confirmed late Thursday afternoon the death of a patient under investigation (PUI) from Sultan Kudarat province while still awaiting test results for the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Arjohn Gangoso, DOH-12 health education and promotions officer, said in a statement the 87-year-old male patient died last March 14 in a hospital in Sultan Kudarat after manifesting severe symptoms of the disease.

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Illustration courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

He said the PUI, who did not have any history of travel outside the province, experienced cough, fever and difficulty of breathing last March 12 and admitted in a local hospital the following day.

“The patient died with a final diagnosis of acute respiratory failure secondary to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, on top of community-acquired pneumonia,” he said.

The case was the first-ever suspected Covid-19 death reported in Soccsksargen.

Aristides Tan, DOH-12 director, said contact tracing activities are ongoing and the family of the deceased PUI is being monitored for possible infection.

He said they were closely coordinating with the local government of Sultan Kudarat, through the rural health unit, to track down other possible cases.

Based on the situation report released Thursday afternoon by the DOH-12’s epidemiology and surveillance unit, a total of 738 persons under monitoring (PUM) are currently undergoing the 14-day mandatory home quarantine.

It said 199 PUMs have already completed the observation protocol since Jan. 29 without manifesting any sign and symptom of Covid-19.

Some 278 PUMs being quarantined in South Cotabato, 195 in Sarangani, 181 in this city, 58 in Sulan Kudarat, 22 in Cotabato City and four in North Cotabato.

For the PUIs, 21 are currently admitted in various hospitals in the region while 13 are on home quarantine. Six have tested negative and already discharged.

Gangoso said all reported PUIs and PUMs were based on the agency’s algorithm and encoded through “Open Data Kit.”

“Most of them had history of travel to Luzon and other countries with confirmed cases of Covid-19,” he said.

As to the region’s first confirmed positive case of Covid-19 reported earlier this week, he said the patient (PH145) is currently in stable condition and in strict isolation at the Cotabato Regional Medical Center in Cotabato City.

He added that infection and control measures are being implemented to prevent the spread of the disease.(MindaNews)