The Philippines has recorded a total of 487 persons under investigation (PUIs) for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as of Saturday afternoon, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
More than half or 330 of the PUIs have already been discharged from various health facilities, according to DOH Assistant Secretary Rosette Vergeire.
At present, there are 154 admitted PUIs being monitored closely by the DOH, she said.
So far, the DOH was able to finish contact tracing of 61% of those who might have encountered the first and second cases of COVID-19.
"For our third case...67% out of the total na na-contact trace na. Medyo nagkaroon po tayo ng konting issues ngayon because we're still trying to verify the details," Vergeire said in an interview with GMA News TV's Balitanghali Weekend on Saturday.
While the health official assured that there was still no local transmission of the COVID-19, she said that the department was bracing for it "through more intensive responses."
The DOH official shared that the department was working on preparing their health facilities to admit more patients, looking into sub-national laboratories to help in testing samples for the virus, and equipping healthcare workers with personal protective equipment.
Vergeire added that the department was collaborating with private hospitals, who were admitting patients under their care.
In the event that there would be any local transmissions and public hospitals would not be able to handle the cases, she said the department can look to the private sector to help them.
On Friday, the DOH said the Philippines has 455 PUIs.
As of Saturday, the death toll in China due to COVID-19 has reached 1,519. —Angelica Y. Yang/KG, GMA News