THE Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday, April 9, 2020, announced a new classification system for persons screened for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

The health department has dropped the terms "persons under monitoring (PUM)" and "patients under investigation (PUI)" in favor of using case definitions "suspect," "probable" and "confirmed."

The DOH said a person can be considered a "suspect" for the disease if he or she has influenza-like illness (with fever at 38 degrees Celsius, cough, and sore throat), and has travel history to places with reported local transmission of Covid-19 within 14 days prior the manifestation of the disease's symptoms.

One can also be considered "suspect" for the disease if he or she has fever or cough or shortness of breath and falls in one of these classifications: aged 60 years old and above, has critical pregnancy, a health worker and have other illnesses.

Moreover, one can also be considered a "suspect" for Covid-19 if he or she caught sudden lung disease with severe symptoms of unknown origin and has to be admitted to a hospital.

Meanwhile, a person may be tagged as "probable" if he or she is a suspect whose test results need further clarification, and if the laboratory who facilitated the testing is not an official laboratory for an everse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.

A probable case may be tagged as "confirmed" if their RT-PCR test yields a positive result. (WBS)