Two nurses who attended the third confirmed case of novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCov ARD) in Bohol hospital have been quarantined after exhibiting symptoms of the dreaded illness.
Dr. Cesar Tomas Lopez, spokesperson of the anti-nCoV technical working group (TWG) of the Bohol provincial government, said that both of the 21-year-old female nurses had a history of contact with the 60-year-old Chinese woman who tested positive for 2019 nCoV ARD and considered the third case in the country.
Lopez said that the two nurses have developed fever, and are now persons under investigation (PUIs) in Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital. Their samples had already been taken and sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for confirmatory testing.
Department of Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said in a press conference that the 60-year-old Chinese national arrived in Bohol from Wuhan, China via Hong Kong on January 20.
In January 22, the patient consulted the private hospital in Bohol after experiencing fever and colds. She was then admitted and samples were taken from her on January 23 and 24, and sent to Victoria Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
“Two tests were done from the samples taken January 24, and the results came back negative,” said Domingo. “Upon recovery, the patient was discharged and allowed to go back to China on January 31.”
However, Domingo said that the samples taken on January 23 and sent to RITM tested positive for novel coronavirus.
DOH has started the contact tracing of persons who interacted with or those who are in close proximity to the patient especially during the first leg of her trip before admission to the hospital, Domingo added.
Bohol provincial government reported that there are already 5 PUIs in the province. Aside from the two nurses, a 31-year-old Chinese national and two female Americans, aged 23 and 24 are also under investigation.