PUI dies while awaiting result of test for COVID-19
CEBU CITY — A person under investigation died Sunday morning at a private hospital here while waiting for the results of her swab test for COVID-19.
The death of the 27-year-old female tagged as “person under investigation” or PUI prompted Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella to place the entire city under “community quarantine” to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2, which causes the respiratory disease.
City Health Officer Daisy Villa said the PUI succumbed to severe pneumonia at 2:45 a.m. on March 15 while confined at a private hospital.
Records show that she was admitted on March 10 after complaining of dizziness and vomiting as advised by the attending physician. Before that, however, she recovered from TB Meningitis in February after being confined in the hospital for three weeks.
The woman went to a physician for consultation on March 12 after she had difficulty breathing and had severe cough.
She had no history of travel.
A swab test was taken by personnel from the Department of Health in Central Visayas on March 13. The specimen was then sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine because she showed symptoms for COVID-19.
Three days later she died of severe pneumonia and acute respiratory disease.
Villa, however, said they were still waiting for the test results from the RITM in Manila to confirm whether or not she was indeed infected with COVID-19.
To prevent the spread of the virus, Mayor Labella told a news conference on Sunday afternoon that all nonessential travels would be prohibited but people would still be free to go out of their homes to work, buy food, medicines, and other necessary supplies as well as to go to medical facilities.
All seaports in Cebu City would also be temporarily closed except for cargo vessels while road closures would be implemented if necessary.
The mayor said the death of the PUI was just one of the many factors that prompted his decision to upgrade the alert status of the entire city.
Under community quarantine, Labella said he would impose a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. until April 14 or while the situation would require.
People could still enter and exit Cebu City but “health checkpoints” would be done with the help of the Police and Army.
All malls, recreational centers, community centers, and such other commercial establishments shall also be closed by 8 p.m.
Medical facilities, pharmacies, and other healthcare establishments will be exempted from the schedule, he added.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2, which outbreak started in China’s Wuhan City in Hubei province in late 2019.
People who have COVID-19 could recover since for most people, its symptoms were mild like fever and cough. But the illness could also be worse or serious for others such as pneumonia, especially for older adults and those with existing health problems.
The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic since it has infected more than 150,000 people and killed nearly 6,000 all over the world. The Philippines has so far confirmed 140 people with COVID-19, including 11 deaths.
President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a state of public health emergency throughout the country and placed the entire Metro Manila under “community quarantine” from March 15 to April 14, 2020, due to COVID-19.
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