(Eagle News) – The Philippine National Police and other government agencies are now helping the Department of Health in the contact tracing of persons who may have interacted with the Chinese couple who had been confirmed positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus.
Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said that the DOH’s Epidemiology Bureau is now meeting with the PNP, and other concerned government agencies to help speed up contact tracing.
He said that airline companies involved have also sent them the contact information on the names that they have initially sent to the DOH.
This was done yesterday afternoon after Health Secretary Francisco Duque III raised the issue of the incompleteness of the list sent by the airlines at the Senate hearing on the nCoV problem.
“Nung una kasi natanggap natin yung list of passengers from the airlines, kaya lang pangalan lang walang contact information,” said Domingo in a press briefing on Wednesday, Feb. 5.
“But since late afternoon, they have shared with us the contact info which has made it easier for us to contact yung nakasabay sa eroplano,” he said.
Because of this, the DOH was able to contact and assess at least 203 individuals in the contact tracing.
-188 under home quarantine-
“As of today, the Epidemiology Bureau has assessed 203 contacts, and home quarantined 188 of them. These are the patients with no symptoms,” Domingo said.
But there are 15 contacts who exhibited symptoms like fever, coughs and colds, he said.
Of this number, “14 were already isolated for monitoring,” while the remaining one is in the process of being isolated.
“Yung isa di pa na-aadmit. Nagpapatulong pa tayo sa local government units and other government agencies,” he said.
“The DOH is now working with other government agencies to expedite the contact tracing process. We’re now working with the PNP, and other government agencies, including LGUs to help expedite contact tracing.”
Domingo is also urging passengers of three flights to cooperate with the DOH representatives who will be getting in touch with them for their assessment.
These flights are the following: Cebu Pacific flight 5J241 from Hong Kong to Cebu on Jan. 20 and 21; Cebu Pacific flight DG6519 from Cebu to Dumaguete on Jan 21; and Philippine Airlines flight PR2542 from Dumaguete to Manila on Jan 25, 2020.
Domingo said that passengers on these three flights could also go to the DOH regional office.
“They can contact us so that we may be able to assess them, and check and monitor them,” he said.
During the Senate hearing on Tuesday, Duque said that they were having some difficulties in reaching out to many of the passengers in these three flights, claiming the failure of the airline companies to provide them with contact details.