A DOCTOR in a public hospital in Davao Oriental tested positive for the new virus that causes coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
In a press statement on June 1, the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental said the infected frontliner was a 35-year-old resident doctor in Davao Oriental Provincial Medical Center (DOPMC) assigned in the internal medicine department.
The doctor initially tested negative for Covid-19 when he was subjected to Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) swab test on May 8 during his duty hours in a dialysis facility in Davao City.
He was said to have reported for duty at the DOPMC on May 25 and 26 last month without any symptoms.
The doctor underwent a second RT-PCR test on May 26 and tested Covid-19 positive based on the test result released on May 30.
“In response, the DOPMC management and the Provincial Task Force on Covid-19 immediately conducted extensive contact-tracing. As a result, 58 hospital staff (majority of them are nurses) are now quarantined and isolated as they are considered the 'direct contacts' of the doctor,” the Provincial Government said.
“Out of the 58 staff, 20 individuals who have an ideal isolation space at home are subjected to strict home quarantine while the rest are isolated in various quarantine facilities provided by the Provincial Government,” it added.
The statement said all of the isolated staff are asymptomatic except for one who is experiencing runny nose due to recurrent sinusitis.
Also, seven out of 14 patients who received direct care from the said doctor were also strictly isolated at the hospital’s isolation facility.
The remaining seven patients were already discharged from the hospital so they were endorsed to the City Health Office of Mati for contact tracing, including their family members and watchers who have direct exposure to the doctor.
The Provincial Government said that asymptomatic positives are less likely to transmit the virus based on the assurance of the Infectious Disease Specialist based in Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC).
“Since Sunday, May 30, 2020, stringent disinfection measures have been done at DOPMC. All areas have been thoroughly disinfected through the use of DOH (Department of Health) and WHO (World Health Organization)-approved disinfection solution,” it read.
“The hospital has activated and mobilized its Infection Control Team to ensure safety in the facility for all its staff and patients. Likewise, all staff are advised to strictly follow quarantine protocols while those who are still able to duty are reminded to follow minimum health standards,” it added.