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MAASIN CITY, Mar. 28 (PIA) -- The provincial health office in Southern Leyte has emphasized the need for frontline health service providers to be protected even as they serve people in their communities, using a system devised by the Department of Health (DOH).

“My first instruction to health officers and chiefs of hospital was protect your health workers,” Dr. Feliciano Matibag, Jr., provincial health officer, declared during a media forum at the provincial social welfare and development office (PSWDO) Tuesday.

“So at the health facility, people who seek admission or consultation, there will be a triage in their places,” Matibag added.

Triage is a systematic way of managing patients based on the urgency of their need for care and attention, and in connection with the current public health emergency on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), health personnel in the field were already aware of this DOH protocol.

Matibag said that special tents were installed outside, within the vicinity of the health centers, where people with symptoms, mild or severe, can be processed and sorted out, in coordination with the concerned Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs).

As a matter of protection, health providers can already identify who are the persons under monitoring (PUMs) or persons under investigation (PUIs) while people are still outside, and strictly observing the mandatory social or physical distancing from each other.

PUMs are sent home for self-quarantine for 14 days closely watched by BHERTS, as well as PUIs with mild cases, while only severe PUIs are referred to the Salvacon Oppus Yniguez Memorial Provincial Hospital (SOYMPH) in barangay Dongon, Matibag explained.

Matibag said at present there are three PUIs admitted at SOYMPH.

Meanwhile, in a related development, the test samples of the three PUIs were taken then sent Thursday to the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban, and results can be expected in four or five days, Matibag was quoted in a report as saying. (ldl/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)