Mayor appeals for testing kits from DOH

Mayor Evelio Leonardia

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Mayor Evelio Leonardia asked Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III for at least 1,000 units of UTM “swab” test kits for COVID-19 as soon as possible.

In a letter addressed to Duque,Leonardia said that as of the moment, Bacolod City has 11 Persons Under Investigation (PUI) and 1526 Persons Under Monitoring (PUM).

PUIsare persons with signs and symptoms and have travel history to infected areas while PUMs are  persons who have  no signs and symptoms of COVID-19 but have travel history to infected areas and may have been exposed to infected persons.

Leonardia said that with the statistics, it is possible that actual cases could be higher but this remains a matter of speculation only “because our city has no supply of the swab test kits to test potentially positive patients.”

“This is very alarming for us and could compromise the health and safety of our people. In our prevailing situation we are not getting the alert signals we need because we have no test kits,” Leonardia said.

Latest update on the COVID-19 cases in the city showed that there are 26 PUIs admitted to hospitals.

A 60-year-old male with Stage 4 colon cancer, who was tagged as a PUI, expired due to difficulty of breathing on Mar 17, 2020. The patient had no history of travel or contact with confirmed cases.

Eight patients are currently confined in isolation units in different hospitals.

24 total specimens were sent for testing with the following results – 1 positive (confirmed), 15 negative, 6 pending.

Testing was not done on 2 PUIs due to unavailability of swab kits at the time they were admitted.

Samples from two patients are due for transport to the laboratory on March 25, 2020.

All patients are in stable condition.

Total PUMs accounted and monitored is 1,526.



Meanwhile, Leonardia issued Executive Order No. 25 imposing more stringent measures through social distancing by prohibiting the selling, serving and consumption of liquor and the closure of karaoke and videoke bars and establishments such as internet cafes and gaming stations including pisonet businesses in the city.

The EO said that the city government has received complaints and reports of violation of the imposed social distancing measures in said establishments.