CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The first fatality related to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Pampanga has been reported on Saturday afternoon.
The patient, codenamed PAMP3 by the provincial government, was admitted via the emergency department of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Medical Center (OLMMC) in this capital city on March 9, the health institution noted on their official statement.
According to the official statement, initial clinical assessment by OLMMC medical team for the patient prompted a request for Covid-19 test from the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) of the Department of Health (DOH).
"The patient was stratified according to the latest algorithms released by the DOH and was initially assessed by the RESU as not meeting the qualifications for further testing," OLMMC's statement read.
It furthered: "Unexpectedly, the RESU officer arrived a day after (March 10), informing the situation that he was then considered as a person under investigation (PUI), and confirmatory testing was subsequently carried out."
The health institution said personal protective equipment were shifted according to precautionary measures and following the stringent protocols on infection control and management as recommended for such situations.
PAMP3 perished on Wednesday, March 11, two days before the test results that confirmed the patient's infection late night of March 13.
OLMMC said continued contact tracing started since the patient was considered as PUI and has been sustained, along with the recommended protocols on infection control and management.
The City Government assured that it will be assisting in the back-tracing conducted among persons that had close contact with the patient from the time he was considered as PUI.
Mayor Edwin Santiago, in a press conference held on Saturday afternoon, said that the patient's family as well as those who attended to and visited him at the hospital will be considered persons under monitoring.
Those who visited the patient's wake and had spoken, shook hands or had any kind of close contact with PAMP3's family are also being identified, the mayor said.
"The inter-agency task force on infectious diseases is already closely working on the matter to immediately address the situation. Rest assured also that our frontliners are equipped with necessary protective gears for their safety," he said.
Santiago said the City Social Welfare and Development Office is set to provide assistance to the patient's family.
The mayor called on the cooperation and unity among Fernandinos as the city address the situation, and prevent the spread of the dreaded COVID-19.
Santiago said he issued an executive order to intensify the city's measures to prevent and control the spread of the disease.
The measures include cancellation of classes and mass public gatherings, provision of health facilities for possible increase of PUIs and PUMs, disinfection of public facilities, among others.
"Now is the time to be united and be participative in all the measures the government is implementing. If you manifest symptoms or had travel history to places with confirmed cases, or close contact with positive patients, let us know we can attend to you," he said.