2 more persons under investigation for coronavirus die in Cagayan de Oro

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Two more persons under investigation (PUIs) for the novel coronavirus died in a Cagayan de Oro hospital as the region confirmed 3 new confirmed cases, authorities revealed on Tuesday, March 24. 

Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) chief of hospital Jose Chan said the two patients died on Monday from severe acure respiratory illness, which under the Department of Health (DOH) guidelines should be treated as possible case of Covid-19 disease.

NMMC is the biggest public hospital in the northern Mindanao region. It was designated as the referral hospital for novel coronavirus cases. 

The deaths brought the total number of fatality among PUIs at the hospital to 4. Chan said one of the latest victims was a resident of the city. No further personal details were provided.

"One of the patients had been there [for a while]. The other [was] just admitted at the hospital, but died immediately," Chan said.

The hospital was attending to 12 more persons under investigation for coronavirus as of Tuesday, March 24. Chan said they were placed in isolation rooms. 

Department of Science and Technology Region 10 earlier donated laboratory supplies as the hospital announced it was running out of much needed personal protective equipment for its health staff. 

DOST Region 10 laboratory personnel, headed by Chemical Laboratory’s Technical Manager Ronya Mae Bayan, handed over 15 boxes of sterile gloves at 50 pairs per box, 200 pieces of shoe covers, 20 pieces of N-95 masks, 100 pieces of surgical caps, and 50 pieces of surgical masks.

Chan also asked the public to heed government's call for them to stay at home to stop the spread of the disease.

3 new cases

The region also confirmed 3 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday. Department of Health Region 10 director Adriano Suba-an said one was admitted to a hospital in Iligan City while two others were admitted to Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC) in Marawi City.

APMC is the apex hospital of Lanao del Sur, one of the provinces of the Bangsamoro region, but the hospital is under the direct supervision of DOH Region 10.

The country's confirmed cases of coronavirus rose to 501 by Tuesday morning, March 24, including 33 deaths and 19 recoveries.

Meanwhile, the global death toll of the coronavirus pandemic has reached 15,189, with 5,476 of the fatalities in Italy and 3,270 in China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau).

The number of cases worldwide has risen to 341,300, with 81,093 cases in China and 59,138 cases in Italy. The virus has spread to 174 countries. – with a report from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com