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AFP hospital admits patients for nCoV monitoring



Several patients were admitted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Medical Center or V. Luna General Hospital in Quezon City for possible 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD), a military health official revealed on Sunday.

Captain Sherwin Joseph Sarmiento, spokesperson of the Health Service Command of the AFP-Public Affairs Office (PAO), confirmed that they were keeping an eye on an undisclosed number of persons under monitoring (PUM) and persons under investigation (PUI) isolated at the infection ward of the military healthcare facility.

Sarmiento refused to divulge the exact number of PUMs and PUIs being assessed, citing the principle of confidentiality and data privacy.

“Ang mga PUM po, sila po ang mga taong may history ng travel doon sa mga bansa na sinabi ng Department of Health: China, Hong Kong at Macau,” Sarmiento said in a radio interview over dzBB, referring to countries where the government implemented a travel ban.

“Ang mga PUI naman po ay mga pasyente na nagkaroon ng travel history at the same time, may mga sintomas tulad ng ubo, sipon, lagnat, pananakit ng lalamunan, at hirap sa paghinga,” he added.

The V. Luna General Hospital is tasked to provide medical care to military and civilian personnel of the AFP, including their immediate dependents, when the nCoV outbreak happened in Wuhan, China.

“Kapag po kasi exposure ang pinag-uusapan, ultimo mga kasama sa bahay. Pati po mga kamag-anak na nagkaroon ng exposure doon sa mismong military ay kina-quarantine o kaya ay ina-assess natin,” Sarmiento said.

Sarmiento, who is a doctor by primary profession, allayed fears of other patients confined at V. Luna Hospital since the PUMs and PUIs were quarantined in a building separate from the main hospital.

The infection ward was previously being used to treat soldiers and their dependents with tuberculosis, measles, and other multi-drug resistant diseases.

However, it has since been cleared and transformed to a quarantine area for military personnel and their dependents who are suspected to have acquired the deadly respiratory disease.

“Paglabas nitong outbreak, madaliang gumawa ng triad system para ma-evaluate ‘yung mga dinadalang pasyente po doon na military personnel at the same time dependents nila,” Sarmiento said. (Martin A. Sadongdong)