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DOH revises classification of COVID-19 patients

The Department of Health (DOH) is changing the classification for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients in the Philippines.

“Mapapalitan na ang PUM (person under monitoring) at PUI (person under investigation) at gagamitin na ang SUSPECT, PROBABLE, at CONFIRMED,” the DOH said in an advisory on Saturday.

“Ang bagong klasipikasyon ay naglalayon na magkaroon ng uniformed reporting upang mas maging tutok ang ating mga hakbang laban sa COVID-19!” it said.

Those who are formerly classified as PUMs are dropped from the new classification system.

Meanwhile, the former PUI category is divided into two classifications — suspect and probable.

Under the “suspect” category are those who have mild, severe, or critical symptoms but have not undergone testing yet.

A suspect case has influenza-like illness such as 38 degrees Celsius body temperature, has cough or sore throat, has difficulty in breathing, and experienced sudden lung problems from undetermined cause.

A suspect case also has travel history to a place or country with local transmission of COVID-19 within 14 days before the symptoms have shown and has close contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 individual.

Suspect cases can be those who are 60 years old and above, have heart illnesses, delicate pregnancy, and health workers.

Persons who have mild, severe, or critical symptoms that have undergone testing but the results are not yet certain or the test was conducted in an unofficial testing laboratory will be classified as “probable.”

Those who tested positive will be called “confirmed” cases.

The DOH said the shift from classifying individuals as PUIs and PUMs is to “establish a standard for and system of case detection, investigation, laboratory confirmation, and notification.” 

As of Friday, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country reached 4,195. The death toll was at 221, while the number of recoveries totaled 140. —KG, GMA News