Early screening can quell COVID-19 spread â PGH
Hospital officials Hian Kua (R) and Mario Juco inspect the interior of the holding area for patients suspected of being infected with a deadly SARS-life virus which originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan before they are put in isolation, at the Manila Doctors Hospital compound in Manila on January 31, 2020.
AFP/Ted Aljibe

Early screening can quell COVID-19 spread — PGH

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - March 12, 2020 - 12:01pm

MANILA, Philippines —  Early screening will help quell the spread of the novel coronavirus, officials of the University of the Philippines said Thursday morning. 

Gerardo Legaspi, director of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), confirmed this in a media briefing that day. 

According to Legaspi, house care is an option for confirmed patients of the new pathogen, while only those with severe symptoms would have to be admitted in hospitals.

READ: How the Department of Health processes potential COVID-19 cases

"Dapat po nating isipin na ang pag-alaga sa bahay ay option po," he said, adding that the outpatient department of the PGH saw around 3,000 patients a day. 

"Ang problemang ito, hindi po sa hospital ang sagot. Ang sagot ay nasa komunidad din."

(We should consider home care as an option. This problem, the answer is not in the hospital only. The answer is also in the community.)

Speaking of early screening, the PGH director highlighted that anyone who fell under at least two of the three "screening tools" set by the DOH were already considered persons under investigation and should be tested. 

According to a bulletin dated February 26 on the department’s Screening Tool, the DOH looks at three main factors before placing an individual under Patient Under Investigation status: 

  • Signs and symptoms: Does the person exhibit any respiratory symptoms linked to the novel coronavirus? Does the person have a fever over 38.0 degrees?
  • Travel history in the past fourteen days to areas with issued travel restrictions
  • History of exposure to confirmed cases or other PUIs

"Ang gamot po sa COVID-19 ay [pagiging] healthy individual na hiwalay po sa pasyenteng mas malala, at ang gamot po sa COVID-19 is our natural ability to combat the virus," he said. 

"Hindi po kailangan lahat ng simptomas lumabas para maging positive o negative."

(The treatment for COVID-19 is being a healthy individual separated from more severe patients, and the treatment for COVID-19 is our natural ability to combat the virus. You do not need all the symptoms to come out to become positive or negative.)

READ: FDA allows use of test kits developed by UP scientists as virus spreads locally

Dr. Raul Destura, who was credited with inventing the local coronavirus kit, said the university was "in the final phase" before releasing it commercially. 

"Ang ating mga Filipino scientists ay ‘di ilalabas itong kit kung walang malalim na paniniwala sa safety nito," Legaspi added.

(Our Filipino scientists will not release this kit without a deep belief in its safety.)

Asked about when the testing kit recently developed by local scientists can be deployed, UP Manila Chancellor Carmencita Padilla said, "Not all hospitals could run COVID-19 testing because there is a protocol for the local kit."

"We're going to wait for validation which will take about to two to three weeks. After that, it will be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for validation," she added.  

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: August 3, 2021 - 8:11am

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

August 3, 2021 - 8:11am

The United States hits President Joe Biden's goal of administering at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to 70% of adults almost a month late, as the newest wave of infections pushed hospitalizations to levels seen last summer.

Biden's administration had initially targeted Independence Day on July 4 to reach the goal and declare victory over the worst of the pandemic.

But falling vaccination rates, particularly in politically conservative regions in the South and Midwest, and among younger people, those with lower income and racial minorities, meant the objective was missed. — AFP

August 2, 2021 - 7:56am

Thousands of anti-lockdown demonstrators defied a court-ordered protest ban on Sunday and gathered in the streets of Berlin, resulting in scuffles with police.

Police said some protesters had "harassed and attacked" officers and ignored roadblocks, disrupting traffic in parts of the German capital.

"They tried to break through the police chain and pull out our colleagues. This led to the use of irritants, batons and physical violence," Berlin police tweeted.

A police spokesman said some 5,000 protesters had turned out. More than 600 were detained. — AFP

July 31, 2021 - 3:36pm

US President Joe Biden says "in all probability" new guidelines or restrictions would be imposed in the United States in response to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

Asked if Americans should expect new recommendations from health authorities or new restrictive measures, the president responds, "in all probability," before leaving the White House by helicopter for the weekend. — AFP

July 31, 2021 - 2:01pm

China races Saturday to contain its worst coronavirus outbreak in months as fresh cases were reported in two more parts of the country including the sprawling megacity of Chongqing.

The highly contagious Delta variant has already been confirmed in the capital Beijing and four other provinces, prompting mass testing and putting more than one million people under lockdown.

More than 200 infections nationwide have been linked to a Delta cluster in eastern Jiangsu province, where cleaners at an airport in the city of Nanjing first tested positive on July 20. — AFP

July 30, 2021 - 5:48pm

Hundreds of thousands of people in China are in coronavirus lockdown Friday as the country battles its worst outbreak in months, while the United States intensifies vaccination efforts in the face of a Delta variant-fuelled surge.

The World Health Organization has warned that the highly transmissible strain, first detected in India, could unleash more Covid-19 outbreaks in a high-risk area from Morocco to Pakistan where vaccination rates are low.

In China, a cluster of infections in Nanjing city linked to airport workers who cleaned a plane from Russia earlier this month had reached the capital Beijing and five provinces by Friday. — AFP

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with