Philippine economy

DOH stays ‘vigilant’ even with admitted PUIs for coronavirus down to 171

Mara Cepeda
DOH stays ‘vigilant’ even with admitted PUIs for coronavirus down to 171
The Department of Health records a total of 521 persons under investigation for the novel coronavirus, but 350 have already been discharged from health facilities

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) will “not be complacent” even if the number of persons under investigation (PUIs) for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) still admitted in health facilities nationwide is down to 171. 

As of 12 pm on Monday, February 17, Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters there are now a total of 521 PUIs in the Philippines, but only 171 remain admitted while the 350 others have already been discharged.

“The decrease in our admitted PUIs reflects the department’s strengthened surveillance, assessment, and management interventions for the COVID-19 health event. Although we see a decreasing trend, the department will not be complacent and will be more vigilant as we brace for the possibility of local transmission in our country,” Vergeire said.

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. (READ: Premature to say coronavirus crisis ‘stabilizing’ – Duque)

Of the 521 PUIs, a total of 453 have already tested negative for 2019-nCoV, while 22 patients still have pending test results. The rest have yet to submit their specimens to the DOH for testing.

Vergeire then reminded the public to always wash their hands and observe proper cough etiquette to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Philippines, which has so far recorded 3 confirmed cases of the new disease.

Of the 3 confirmed cases, one died due to severe pneumonia because of novel coronavirus, while the other two recovered and are already out of the hospital.

In Japan, a total of 27 out of the 538 Filipinos onboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess tested positive for 2019-nCoV. Passengers and crew remain quarantined.

The Philippine government has so far given them care packages containing toiletries and non-medical supplies.

As of Monday, the novel coronavirus has killed at least 1,765 and infected 70,400 people in China, whose province Hubei is the epicenter of the new disease. Cases have been recorded in more than two dozen countries. – 

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.