66 persons ‘exposed’ to COVID-19 patient under monitoring

By Jennifer P. Rendon

The Guimbal Municipal Health Office in Iloilo has traced 66 individuals who might have been exposed to the 65-year old man who tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Dr. Jay Dorin, Guimbal Municipal Health Officer, said 61 of these persons were associated with the patient because of his activities at the local church where he serves as a lay minister.

The other five are his two sisters, a brother, another relative, and a househelp, who were already identified earlier.

Dorin said these 66 individuals are considered as persons under monitoring (PUMs) and were advised to do self-quarantine.

PUMs are persons with no signs and symptoms but either travelled to infected areas or were exposed to infected persons.

“So far, none of them exhibited symptoms associated with COVID-19 and “hopefully, it will remain that way. They are to end their self-quarantine by March 27,” Dorin said.

Based on the information he gathered, the 65-year old patient’s condition is improving.

“According to his sister, there was a repeat x-ray examination done today (March 24) and it showed that his pneumonia did not get worse,” he said.

Dorin said his 62-year old wife is still admitted to the hospital being a person under investigation (PUI) but she is asymptomatic.

On March 13, the day the patient was brought to the hospital, he and his wife passed by the church.

But at some point, he allegedly had a hard time maneuvering the vehicle prompting the priest’s driver to replace him at the wheel. He was brought to the local hospital because of fever and coughing.

The hospital ambulance later brought him to The Medical City in Iloilo City after noting that he had exposure to someone who travelled to a country with COVID-19 positive cases.

“He’s considered high risk because of his age, a post-angioplasty case, and being diabetic,” Dorin said.

Meanwhile, local health authorities are still conducting contact tracing based on the information provided by the 66 individuals who were exposed to the patient.

It can be noted that the patient’s possible exposure could be traced to his sister who went on vacation and arrived in Guimbal sometime in January 2020.

Since another sister was to celebrate her 60th birthday, she was treated to a Japan trip. The sister from Canada and the birthday celebrant went to Japan on February 18.

They were accompanied by another sister and another relative. They went home on February 25.

By first week of March, his sister went back to Canada.

On March 6, health authorities reported that the patient began experiencing cough and fever. He was eventually admitted to the hospital a week later.