DOH: Suspected MERS-CoV patient from Laguna tests negative

admin   •   February 21, 2019   •   1460

Colorized transmission electron micrograph showing particles of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus that emerged in 2012 | Credit: NIAID

(UPDATED) A male Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) from Saudi Arabia who was rushed to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) on Wednesday over suspected Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), has tested negative for the disease, the Department of Health said.

The RITM released the results of the laboratory tests conducted on the patient around 7 P.M. Wednesday, according to DOH Region 4A Director Eduardo Janairo.

The patient was instead diagnosed with pneumonia, Janairo said, and his condition is currently being monitored and treated.

“Nandoon pa siya sa RITM. Doon muna inoobserbahan, malaman natin progreso ng kaniyang sakit, kung mag-detoriorate o hindi. Pero at least ang ating diagnostic, hindi na MERS-CoV. Ninerbyos lang tayo diyan kasi nga galing sa Saudi, sa Riyadh since Feb. 10. May mga record na may MERS-CoV sa area na yun,” Janairo explained.

“Sa ngayon, wala ng dapat ipangamba kasi negative naman yung kaniyang viral infection. Ang hinahanap natin ngayon, ano ang cause ng pneumonia at ubo niya o fever. Kailangan malaman natin yun,” Janairo added.

MERS is a viral respiratory infection caused by a novel CoronaVirus (CoV). Its symptoms may range from mild to severe fever, cough, chills, vomiting or diarrhea and shortness of breath. It was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

The patient was first rushed to the Laguna Doctors Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Laguna on February 19 after complaining of coughs and high fever but was transferred to the RITM in Muntinlupa City for further analysis and observation.

The emergency room of the Laguna Doctors Hospital has also been opened to patients after it was temporarily closed on Wednesday for general disinfection. — Robie de Guzman (with reports from Sherwin Culubong)

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CAAP begins probe on Laguna plane crash

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 2, 2019

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has begun investigation on the plane crash in Calamba, Laguna on Sunday (Sept 1).

The CAAP is already in possession of the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder of Lion Air 350 that crashed at a resort in Miramonte Village Barangay Pansol.

They also investigated the crash site and collected all the debris from the airplane.

According to CAAP Aircraft Investigator Harry Paradero, they also interviewed eye witnesses to document the scenario before the crash happened.

“Bali tinitignan pa lang namin iyong crash site, iyon lang naman sa ngayon, (For now, we are investigating the crash site)” he said.

The medical evacuation plane came from Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte. It boarded nine passengers and was supposed to fly to Manila in order to provide medical assistance to their New Zealander passenger.

READ: Plane crashes at resort in Calamba, Laguna; kills 9

None of the passengers survived the crash. Witnesses said parts of the plane were already separating before it crashed in their area.

“Talagang sinundan po na namin iyong pagbagsak kaya po nung naglanding siya dito mga 2 to 3 minutes, (We really followed the crash. It landed here at around 2 to 3 minutes),” said Jeff Rodriguez, one of the eye witnesses.

Meanwhile, families of the victims are set to bring their relatives home.—AAC (with reports from Sherwin Culubong)

DOJ: Ex-Calauan mayor Sanchez, thousands others set for release

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 21, 2019

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez will likely to be released from the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP).

According to Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra, Sanchez is among the thousands of inmates who are eligible for recomputation of good conduct time allowances (GCTA).

“He may actually be released already. No idea how soon,” Guevarra told reporters.

The GCTA is based on Republic Act No. 10592 and Supreme Court ruling which states that the length of an individual’s imprisonment can be reduced based on their good conduct in prison.

“So many prisoners’ good-conduct time allowances would be subjected to recomputation. Maybe one after the other they would be released,” Guevarra said.

Sanchez was sentenced to seven terms of reclusion perpetua in 1995 after he was convicted for the rape and murder of student Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of her boyfriend, Allan Gomez in 1993.—AAC

Laguna hospital explains use of improvised oxygen hood for infant patients

Marje Pelayo   •   August 14, 2019

LAGUNA, Philippines – Three infants inside Dr. Jose P. Rizal Memorial District Hospital in Calamba are placed under improvised oxygen hoods made from plastic water containers.

The halved one-gallon plastic containers are attached to an oxygen hose. Adhesive tape covers the edges of the container to protect the babies’ sensitive skin.

According to the hospital’s OIC Dr. Ignacia Flores, the patients are in dire need of oxygen due to their health conditions.

One of them, named Baby Ellaine, is suffering from severe dehydration and acute gastroenteritis while another baby, named Baby Camille, has pneumonia.

Baby Angel, meanwhile, is diagnosed with multiple congenital anomaliex.

Mas maganda iyan at iyan ang kailangan talaga kasi kung nasal cannula ang ikakabit, mas hindi effective yun sa bata kasi baby nga  sila (It’s better that way and it’s what they really need because if we use nasal cannula it wouldn’t be as effective because they are still babies),” Dr. Flores said.

Magiging iritable ang baby. Ang tendency niyan maglilikot. Matatanggal din itong cannula (na) ito, (The baby would be irritable and restless. The cannula will only get dislodged ),” she added.

The parents did not oppose such procedure though it drew criticisms when the photos went viral on social media.

Nakatulong naman po kasi hanggang ngayon buhay pa ang anak ko, (It seems to have helped because my baby is still alive),” said Angel’s mother Marjorie Canaco.

Kasi kapag nangingitim na si baby, itataas lang ito para lumakas (at) nawawala na yung pangingitim niya, (When my baby turns blue, I will just lift [this tube] and her color returns to normal),” she added.

Tulong na rin ito sa amin. Pagdating namin dito hindi siya makahinga kaya agad siyang nilagyan ng oxygen, (This helps us a lot. When we arrived here, she couldn’t breathe. They immediately attached this oxygen),” said Ellaine’s mother Ligaya Dolpo.

Flores argued that the hospital couldn’t reject the patients so they needed to find ways instead of driving them away.

“Actually, hindi na nagagamit din ang conventional kasi mas gusto [nila] itong improvised at mas mabilis nagagawa agad, (Actually, they don’t want the conventional (oxygen) and prefer the improvised which is faster to make),” Dr. Flore said.

As good as a conventional oxygen hood ang effect niyan. Nothing to worry,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Laguna Provincial Government in defense said the rise in cases of dengue in the province prompted them to improvise due to shortage in supply of oxygen hoods.

Ang oxygen hood kasi ay kung bakit nagkaubusan because of the outbreak, (There has been a shortage of oxygen hoods because of the (dengue) outbreak),” explained Christopher Sanji of Laguna Government PIO.

Ngayon lang nangyari ito sa probinsiya (This is the first time that this happened in the province),” Sanji added.

JP Rizal Hospital in Calamba is just one of the nine district hospitals that below average households from San Pedro to Bae in Laguna run to first for their medical concerns. – MNP (with details from Sherwin Culubong)

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