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  • Both Positive For COVID-19, Christopher De Leon And Sen. Miguel Zubiri Share Vital Reminders

    De Leon said he had no recent travel history and had not come in contact with any COVID-19-positive cases.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Both Positive For COVID-19, Christopher De Leon And Sen. Miguel Zubiri Share Vital Reminders
PHOTO BY @sandy_andolong_de_leon and @migzzubiri via Instagram
  • Actor Christopher de Leon announced in an Instagram post yesterday, March 17, 2020, that he has contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

    “Today, our doctor confirmed that I have COVID-19,” the actor wrote on his account. “I’ve had no recent travel history outside of the Philippines and no known contact with anyone who is positive to have the virus.”

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    Due to the nature of his work, (he was taping for the drama series Love Thy Woman before the enhanced community quarantine), he asked anyone who has come in contact with him for the past two weeks “to observe stringent self-quarantine, observe for symptoms, and follow the triage procedures established by the DOH (Department of Health), whether asymptomatic or not.”

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    He also asked that they cooperate with the authorities who are conducting contact tracing, adding that his wife, actress Sandy Andolong, his daughter Mica, and their kasambahays are already in self-quarantine at home.

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    Earlier, another public figure announced that they tested positive for COVID-19. Senator Miguel Zubiri announced on March 16 that he had the test taken while on self-quarantine and the results came out positive, as confirmed to him by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

    “My heart sank with what he said but I’m uplifted with the fact that I am asymptomatic and have no fever or cough nor am I weak or have any headaches,” Sen. Zubiri wrote.

    He adds, “My decision to self-quarantine last Wednesday evening after session was the best decision I made and could have protected my family from contamination. As one of those very early on in the Senate who espoused and advocated for stronger Government response on controlling COVID-19, I was very careful in my dealings with people at work in the Senate. I practiced social distancing as well as a no handshake policy but yet I got contaminated. How, I do not know.”

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    The Senator also urged the public to follow the government and not to go out of their homes anymore. “This just goes to show how easily this virus is spread and therefore it is best for everyone to stay home and stay clean. As for me, I will stay locked in isolation for 10 more days until I get checked once again with hopefully a negative result,” he said.

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    How DOH determines COVID-19 cases

    DOH's triage of patients with possible COVID-19 virus.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Department of Health

    The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed yesterday that community transmission of COVID-19 has already happened in the Philippines. This happens when a person has been diagnosed with the disease even though he has not been to high-risk areas and has not been in contact with other confirmed cases.

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    This makes it even more important to be aware of triage procedures set by the agency. Triage is what medical professionals use to assign degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses so they can decide the order of treatment in the case of a large number of patients.

    For COVID-19, they will need to know if the patient is a possible patient under investigation (PUI) or person under monitoring (PUM). PUMs who are asymptomatic (no symptoms) but with history of exposure should undergo home quarantine for 14 days and monitor the development of symptoms. (Click here for home quarantine guidelines) They will not be tested for COVID-19 yet.

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    The first step is to assess the patients for any acute respiratory illness and symptoms. If they have any of the following: fever, cough, shortness of breath, other respiratory symptoms, or diarrhea, they will then be asked for their travel history and if they have had any close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

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    Close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case can be any of the following:

    • Providing direct care without proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to a confirmed COVID-19 patient
    • Staying in the same close environment (including the workplace, classroom, household, or gatherings)
    • Traveling together in close proximity (one meter or 3 feet) in any kind of conveyance

    If patient answers no:

    If the patient does not have any travel history or close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, the patient will still be assessed further. If they are patients with severe acute respiratory infection or atypical pneumonia and requiring hospitalization and with no other cause that will fully explain his symptoms regardless of travel history, they will become a PUI. They will also be a PUI if there is a cluster of influenza-like illness (ILI) in their household or workplace. If they don’t fall under any of the conditions mentioned, they are not considered a PUI or PUM and will be referred to the emergency room or other clinics for appropriate work-up and management.

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    If patient answers yes:

    The patient will be asked if the symptoms occurred within 14 days of exposure. If the answer is no, they are not considered a PUI or PUM. But if the answer is yes, they will be considered as a PUI.

    The next step is for the medical staff to verify and coordinate their findings to the Regional Epidemiology & Surveillance Unit (RESU) and to complete the case investigation form (CIF). The patient will then be admitted to a designated COVID-19 isolation area.

    Serum and specimen samples will be taken from the patient. Mild cases with no existing medical conditions may be sent home after testing but must undergo home quarantine. Patients who refuse admission must be referred to the RESU.

    If you suspect you are infected with COVID-19 or are in need of assistance because you have symptoms or known exposure to confirmed cases or PUIs, call the DOH COVID-19 emergency hotline at (02) 894-COVID.

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