At a press conference yesterday, DOH Assistant Secretary for public health services Maria Rosario Vergeire stressed that the man tested negative for COVID-19 and that his death was due to cardiovascular attack.
AFP/STR
Pinoy PUI, 71, dies of cardiac illness
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - February 15, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines —  A 71-year-old Filipino being investi­gated for possible coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) died on Wednesday of cardiovascular ailment, the Depart­ment of Health (DOH) said.

He became the first Filipino catego­rized as person under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 to die.

At a press conference yesterday, DOH Assistant Secretary for public health services Maria Rosario Vergeire stressed that the man tested negative for COVID-19 and that his death was due to cardiovascular attack.

“He was given supportive measures and diagnostic procedures. After a while he died (last Feb. 12). Just to make it clear, the patient had co-morbidity but was negative for CO­VID-19,” she said.

The patient had traveled to Taiwan from Jan. 24 to 31 but he was already manifesting cough on Jan. 20. He was admitted and put in quarantine in a hospital in La Union on Feb. 11 and died the following day.

Vergeire said the patient was also di agnos ed wi th pneumoni a and acute myocardial infarction. Doc­tors also considered thoracic aortic aneurysm.

DOH data show three deaths from among the PUIs. The first was the 29-year-old Chinese man with HIV who died from severe pneumonia. He was also negative for COVID-19.

The second PUI was a 57-year-old Chinese man who died of “underlying restrictive lung disease.”

The Philippines has three confirmed cases of COVID-19. The first was a 38-year-old Chinese woman whose partner, a 44-year-old Chinese man, was also found infected and died of severe pneumonia.

The third case was that of a 60-year-old Chinese woman who recovered from the illness and had already gone back to China.

According to Vergeire, a 25-year-old woman who wa s among 3 0 Filipinos repatriated from China was admitted to the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital due to fever and ear ache.

She clarified, though, that the pa­tient tested negative for COVID-19 and only developed an “outer ear infection.” The patient will be taken back to the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac to complete the 14-day quaran­tine procedure.

Another repatriate, she added, was to be referred yesterday to the Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center “for further evaluation and manage­ment after exhibiting anxiety-related symptoms.”

“She will be brought to a hospital where there are psychiatrists who can assist the patient. She was manifest­ing sleeplessness and restlessness,” Vergeire said.

The rest of the repatriates under quarantine are said to be doing well.

Of the 445 PUIs, a total of 386 have tested negative for the virus. At least 191 are admitted at various health fa­cilities nationwide, with 260 already discharged.

“We are glad that most of our PUIs tested negative for COVID-19. While this is very welcome news, we at the DOH will continue our preparations for the possibility of local transmis­sion,” Vergeire said.

As of yesterday, the DOH-Epidemi­ology Bureau reported that of the 277 interviewed-contacts of the infected Chinese couple, 218 have completed quarantine while 15 are still in home isolation.

At least 44 of these contacts have developed symptoms and were cat­egorized as PUIs.

But Health Sec. Francisco Duque III does not want the country to be complacent, especially with the reports that the disease is already stabilizing in China. – With Christina Mendez

COVID-19 MARIA ROSARIO VERGEIRE
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