CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Fourteen persons quarantined at the state-run Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) here have tested negative of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the hospital’s chief said Monday.

Dr. Jose Chan, NMMC medical center chief, said the results of these 14 PUIs came out on the weekend and all tested negative.

Chan said most of the patients who tested negative of Covid-19 have actually contracted the influenza virus, which shows the same symptoms such as cough, colds, fever, and body pain.

Those PUIs, he said, were sent home after their health has recovered even before their 14-day quarantine has ended. These PUIs are residents of Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon.

“If the patients start to feel well after two weeks, we will discharge them, even if their test has not yet arrived,” Chan told reporters during the daily Covid-19 press briefing held at the city mayor’s office on Monday.

There are now ten new PUIs still on quarantine at the NMMC, he said, adding that most of them are doing well.

Chan also announced that the 40 NMMC health workers who underwent the 14-day quarantine at the medical facility have tested negative to Covid-19 and will be resuming their duties on Tuesday, March 24.

The Department of Health Region 10 reported there are 186 PUIs in the region, 16 of them admitted at hospitals, 123 under quarantine, 10 have completed their 14-day quarantine, and 34 were discharged.

Persons under monitoring (PUMs) in the region have reached 2,698, the DOH-10 data said.

Of the 186 PUIs, three have died, but only one patient, with code PH40, a 54-year-old man from Pasig City who was brought to the NMMC, had tested positive of the coronavirus.

The other two fatalities were women who succumbed to severe acute respiratory illness (Sari) who died March 18 while on quarantine at the NMMC.

Chan said these two patients, ages 33 and 44, had a preexisting medical condition like shortness of breath, diabetes, hypertension, and heart problem.

He added that PH40’s wife has tested negative for Covid-19 and was discharged Monday, while the daughter is still in quarantine.

Only one of the two patients have been taken swab sample, but Chan said that the test has yet to be transported to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City.(

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