Region 1 remains free of 2019-nCoV

SAN FERNANDO CITY — The Department of Health (DOH) in the Ilocos Region assured the general public that there is still no confirmed case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 nCoV) in the region.

In an interview on Wednesday, DOH-1 Regional Director Valeriano Lopez said as of the morning of Feb. 4, there is no truth on the circulating news on social media of certain confirmed cases in the region.

“Wala pa po tayong kumpirmadong kaso ng 2019 n-CoV sa Region 1,” he told the Philippine Information Agency.

However, he verified that three individuals from China have been admitted in a government hospital in the region and were classified yesterday as patient under investigation (PUI).

He said the patients submitted themselves to the hospital on Jan. 26 for having some of the symptoms of nCov which are colds and fever. They were immediately isolated upon initial checkup.

“Since their admission, these PUIs have been getting better and over the course of their admission, they have been showing signs of improvement on their health,” the regional director said.

He added, “I would like to reiterate that strict infection control measures and isolation standards are being implemented in the health facility where they are admitted.”

Further, he informed that they are expecting for the confirmatory test from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to reveal whether these patients are positive or negative for the 2019-nCoV.

While waiting for the results, Lopez advised the public to remain calm and heed advisories from credible sources of information and updates with regard to the disease.

“I ask the people especially from our region to refrain from sharing unverified data as this causes panic. Ang problema natin hindi ‘yung sakit kundi ang fake news na kumakalat tungkol dito,” he said.

Meanwhile, he reminded the public to practice preventive measures to avoid exposure to the virus like strict hygiene, particularly washing of hands often.