Aklan provincial hospital unknowingly admits coronavirus patient from Romblon
AKLAN, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Provincial Health Office of Aklan (PHO-Aklan) said on Sunday, March 29, that all precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of health care workers and patients at the provincial hospital in Kalibo after it admitted a German national for confinement, not knowing he had tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Some health workers will be quarantined and the second floor of the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH) has been disinfected. The DRSTMH could be turned into a medical facility exclusive to COVID-19 patients should there be a surge in cases in Aklan.
The German patient’s COVID-19 test result was released on Saturday, March 28.
Provincial Health Officer I, Dr. Cornelio Cuachon, Jr., said that the 60-year old foreigner from San Jose (Hambil), Romblon was initially brought to the San Jose District Hospital on March 22 after manifesting symptoms of coronavirus and was confined for 3 days.
The patient, who had no history of travel outside the country but went to Manila, was referred to DRSTMH on March 25.
He was later transferred from his private hospital room to a COVID-19 isolation ward of the provincial hospital for close monitoring.
A number of health workers at the DRSTMH who had close contact with the patient are considered persons under monitoring (PUMs).
They have been placed under the mandatory 14-day quarantine at the Aklan training center, a temporary holding facility in Old Buswang, Kalibo.
“Pati na ang nurse na galing Romblon at nagdala sa Kalibo ay PUM na rin,” Cuachon said.
(Even the nurse who brought the patient from Romblon to Kalibo is now also a PUM.)
Cuachon said that the PHO-Aklan apologizes to the people of Aklan because the provincial health office was not fully aware of the patient’s medical condition before he was confined in a private room in the provincial hospital.
“We apologize, dahil hindi namin alam na admitted sa ospital ang PUI, at naging COVID-19 patient pa. Dapat masinsinan ang pagkuha ng mga health workers ng medical history ng pasyente. Kailangan din mag-observe ng universal precautions tulad ng pag-suot ng face mask or N95.”
(We apologize because we did not know that he was a PUI, who even became a COVID-19 patient. Health workers must be thorough in getting a patient’s medical history. Universal precautions such as wearing a face mask or N95 should also be observed.)
Cuachon said that the PHO Romblon had no proper coordination with PHO Aklan, although they coordinated with the Malay Municipal Hospital for the transport of the patient.
"May lapses sa referral ng health worker ng Romblon pagdating dito sa Kalibo dahil hindi sinabi na may specimen sample na kinuha sa pasyente at ipinadala sa Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM),” he added.
(There were lapses in the referral made by the health worker from Romblon when they reached Kalibo because it was not mentioned that a specimen sample was taken from the patient and was sent to the RITM.)
But Romblon Gov. Jose Riano said that there was proper coordination with the Kalibo provincial hospital for the patient’s transfer and health protocols were followed.
“May isang naging positive sa San Jose, ikinalulungkot natin ito ang pahayag ni Dr. Mario Baquilod ng DOH Center for Health Development Mimaropa. Ang pasyente ay inilipat sa Kalibo noong Marso 25 pagkatapos mag-undergo ng throat swab na required ng DOH upang malaman kung positibo o negatibo ang pasyente sa COVID-19. Ang paglipat ay may proper coordination sa tumanggap na ospital at sumunod sa health protocols ang personnel,” Riano said.
(A patient tested positive in San Jose. We regret to announce that this was the statement of Dr. Mario Baquilod of the DOH Ceneter for Health Development MIMAROPA. The patient was transferred to Kalibo on March 25 after undergoing a throat swab that the DOH requires to determine if a patient is positive or negative for COVID-19. The transfer had proper coordination with the hospital that took him and the personnel followed health protocols.)
The patient arrived in Romblon on March 10 and stayed at home in San Jose for quarantine.
“Bago matapos ang kanyang quarantine period may sintomas na siya ng headache, fever, loss of appetite, body weakness at ubo,” Riano said.
(Before he completed his quarantine period, he already experienced symptoms such as headache, fever, loss of appetite, body weakness, and cough.)
The governor declared a total lockdown in San Jose, Romblon on March 28 to stem the spread of coronavirus. He also directed the Municipal Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (MEU) in coordination with San Jose mayor Ronnie Samson to conduct contact tracing. – Rappler.com
(Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story said that the Provincial Health Office- Aklan wants an apology from the PHO-Romblon for failing to disclose the patient’s medical history. There was no such demand for an apology. Instead, Aklan Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Cornelio Cuachon, Jr., was apologizing to the people of Aklan for the incident. We apologize for the misinterpretation.)