No COVID in ZC but stricter monitoring activities in place

Zamboanga City has no confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID 19) case but health authorities have further intensified its monitoring due to a case of local transmission in the country.

With the country’s COVID 19 alert system raised to Code Red, sub level 1, and the declaration of public health emergency by President Rodrigo Duterte, City Health Officer Dr. Dulce Miravite said the City Health Office will strengthen prevention measures, including surveillance and contract tracing.

Dr. Miravite noted the CHO is taking extra caution and steps to include in its monitoring not only individuals with travel history to countries with travel restrictions but also individuals with local travels to areas in the country with confirmed COVID 19 cases.

Residents who have recently traveled, even asymptomatic, are urged to coordinate with the City Health Office thru their hotline 955-9601 or 0966 175 4298 for advice and guidance.

“If tiene tu travel history, asymptomatic, we ask you to still coordinate with us so we can monitor while in home quarantine,” Dr. Miravite said.

Dr. Miravite also advised residents to stay vigilant and practice personal hygiene to protect themselves from COVID 19.

She encouraged regular hand washing, preferably with water and soap, cough etiquette, and social distancing. Residents are advised to stay home if sick, avoid contact with sick people, cover coughing and sneezing, and avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.

Meanwhile, Dr. Miravite firmly refuted rumors of a reported COVID 19 case in Zamboanga City. To date, the city has no COVID 19 case, no persons under monitoring (PUM), and no persons under investigation (PUI), she said.

Per City Health protocols, PUMs (persons under monitoring) are persons who have traveled to Wuhan in China, Hongkong, Macau and the provinces of Daegu and Gyeongbuk in South Korea or had exposure to those with confirmed COVID-19 but have no signs and symptoms. PUMs are asked to be home quarantined for 14 days and advised to wear a mask.

Meanwhile, PUIs (persons under investigation) are those who have 2 or all of the following: 1. history of travel from the aforementioned areas; 2. history of exposure with a confirmed case or visited a health facility with a confirmed case; 3. with respiratory symptoms (cough, colds, etc), and; 4. fever. PUIs are to be isolated and quarantined in a hospital and treated symptomatically.

The Department of Health (DOH) recently confirmed four new cases of COVID 19, bringing the total in the country to 10.

The DOH raised the COVID 19 alert system to Code Red, sublevel 1, after the first case of a local transmission was confirmed. President Rodrigo Duterte then placed the Philippines under a state of public health emergency to arrest the spread of novel coronavirus infections.

Dr. Miravite said that with this development, the CHO will stand by the protocols to be issued by the DOH. (Jasmine Mohammadsali)