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DOH denies death of Covid-19 patient in Tacloban

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TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Health has denied reports circulating online that a 51-year-old man from this city died after catching the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

In a statement issued Sunday night, the DOH regional office here said there was no truth to the report that a patient under investigation (PUI) succumbed to the viral disease on April 1.

The health department is waiting for the test result of swab samples taken from the PUI that was sent to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City.

“There is no truth behind the claim. In fact, the referral hospital Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center issued an advisory on April 2 that the final diagnosis of the PUI was an acute respiratory failure from community-acquired pneumonia,” the DOH Region 8 said in a statement.

John Paul Roca, DOH regional information officer, said in a text message on Monday that they expect to receive the patient’s test result from Cebu City either today or Tuesday. The health department sent the fourth batch of samples for confirmatory testing on April 3.

“We are still waiting for the results. There is no result of the said samples sent. Therefore, this patient is not yet confirmed of Covid-19,” Roca added.

The patient, according to DOH, was identified as PUI since he had a history of travel in the past 14 days to places with local transmission of Covid-19. He also experienced respiratory symptoms such as cough and fever.

The health department has reiterated its call to the public to stop spreading fake news related to the health crisis as this can cause panic. The Philippine National Police vowed to file charges against the source of this fake news.

As of Sunday, the Eastern Visayas region had two confirmed cases of Covid-19 with one of them already recovered. Meanwhile, there are 394 PUIs, 15 of them admitted to hospitals and 379 undergoing home isolation. (PNA)