Don’t panic, PUIs told

March 18, 2020

LUCENA CITY -- Patients under investigation (PUIs) for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have no reason to panic as long as they take necessary precautionary measures.

Thus assured Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan, a doctor of medicine, who chairs the Committee on Health in the House of Representatives.

Tan said as long as the PUIs are following the instructions of health officials religiously, they don’t have to worry about their safety.

As to the basic problems being faced by the frontline health workers as a result of President Rodrigo Duterte's enforcement of enhanced community quarantine, Tan said she is finding ways to address them.

Despite taking all the risks just to combat the prevailing crisis, Tan said the health workers, especially those in the field, have their own different problems.

With the suspension of public transport, she said health workers are among those who are badly affected.

"Many of them claim that authorities manning checkpoints refuse to acknowledge their IDs and refrain them from proceeding to their duties," said Tan.

The lawmaker said she immediately coordinated with concerned officials of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Health, and the police to address the problem, as she urged authorities to provide a special lane if possible, for health workers in order not to hamper the delivery of basic necessities such as food and medicine.

She said another problem that the workers are facing is the absence of space for them to stay in since they no longer go home after the day's work.

"Since we have national public health emergency and hospitals have no extra rooms or space that can be used by the duty health workers, I'm looking into the possibility that local chief executives can do something so that rooms in apartelles or hotels located near hospitals can be used as temporary quarter," Tan said.

She asked the public to include the health workers in their prayers.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Quezon has one confirmed COVID-19 case and 27 PUIs, including one  mortality, according to Provincial Health officer Dr. Grace Santiago.

With the prevailing enhanced community quarantine, Santiago said everyone is now considered persons under monitoring (PUM).

Quezon Gov. Danilo Suarez yesterday led a Joint Quezon Provincial Inter-Agency COVID-19 Task Force and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) meeting at Queen Margarette Hotel to discuss ways to prevent the spread of the dreaded disease.