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Naga City nurse is 23rd health worker to contract new virus in Bicol

By: - Correspondent / @RAOstriaINQ
/ 09:32 PM May 16, 2020

LEGAZPI CITY — A female nurse in Naga City, Camarines Sur, was the latest to contract the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2, bringing the total number of health workers infected with COVID-19 in Bicol to 23 on Saturday.

She is the 67th COVID-19 case in the Bicol region, authorities said.

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According to the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol, the 32-year-old nurse, tagged Bicol#67, is asymptomatic but was checked because she was a close contact of an ambulance driver from Tigaon town, also in Camarines Sur.

The nurse has been in quarantine and was swabbed on Tuesday (May 12), according to DOH.

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Her result came a day after Typhoon Ambo (international name: Vongfong) damaged the exhaust duct of the biological safety cabinet (BSC) in the COVID-19 testing center in Legazpi City in Albay.

A BSC is a machine with an air filtration system that prevents contamination of samples while they are being processed for the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

“These test results are the remaining samples that were extracted before the exhaust duct at the Bicol Regional Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory (BRDRL) was damaged by Typhoon Ambo,” Dr. Ernie Vera, DOH Bicol director, said in a statement.

Because of the damage, specimens from suspected COVID-19 patients in Bicol will again be redirected to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City until the equipment in Albay testing center is repaired or replaced.

COVID-19 is a potentially deadly respiratory ailment caused by SARS-CoV-2, a coronavirus first detected in Wuhan City, China, in late 2019.

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