PUMs in Lambunao, Guimbal to undergo COVID-19 testing

By Emme Rose Santiagudo

Twenty-six individuals who are direct contacts of positive cases in the towns of Lambunao and Guimbal in Iloilo province and are classified as persons under monitoring (PUMs) will undergo coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing.

PUMs are individuals who travelled to places with cases of COVID-19 or were exposed to a positive case and are asymptomatic.

The Department of Health-Center for Health Development in Western Visayas (DOH-CHD 6) has confirmed local transmission in the two towns, indicating that the source of infection is within the reporting location.

The municipality of Lambunao has recorded two interrelated Covid-19 cases with one fatality.

The first case in the town was a 70-year-old male who expired on Sunday and infected his 44-year-old daughter who is also the second confirmed case in Lambunao.

Lambunao’s municipal health officer Dr. Ma. Mercedes Ballarta said the second case had direct contact to the first case as she was the one tending to the patient in the hospital.

“Positive ang bata and na-expect na namon because ang bata ang gabantay sa ospital sa iya nga papa so expected man gid,” she told Daily Guardian in a phone interview on Thursday.

According to Ballarta, the second case did not exhibit any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and has remained isolated in a room.

Isolated as of now, ara siya sa iya balay in one room and asymptomatic siya,” she said.

All other contacts of the two cases in Lambunao remain well and asymptomatic, Ballarta added.

The 12 direct contacts of the two cases include their nine family members, two drivers, and one helper.

Specimens of the four close contacts have already been sent for testing, according to Ballarta.

Ballarta said the remaining contacts of the two cases will also undergo testing this week.

In Guimbal, where three COVID-19 cases were recorded with one death, the municipal health office listed 15 high-risk contacts of its third case. They will also undergo COVID-19 testing.

According to Dr. Jay Dorin municipal health officer of Guimbal, the high-risk contacts are the patient’s wife, child, two relatives, two helpers, one of the helper’s child, family driver, friends and acquaintances.

“The high risk contacts are currently well and have no signs and symptoms. After the contact tracing, the Department of Health (DOH-6) said we will have to do the testing for the high-risk contacts,” he said.

Guimbal’s third case was a 58-year-old male who had travel history to Manila. He was admitted in a hospital after experiencing cough but expired on Tuesday.

Dorin said the third case had no close contact with the first two cases in Guimbal.

The first case in Guimbal is a 65-year-male and is currently in stable condition. The second case is a 51-year-old female who had been exposed to the first case.

She has not exhibited any signs and symptoms of Covid-19, Dorin added.

Following the confirmation of local transmission in the two towns, both Ballarta and Dorin appealed to the residents to remain calm and stay at home.

Akon ginpangabay para magguntat ang pagspread sang balatian, palihog magtinir sila sa balay nila. Indi na sila ma-guwa kay the only way makapugong kita sang transmission is through social distancing, staying at home and frequent hand washing,” Ballarta said. (With a report from Philippine News Agency)