DOH confirms first novel coronavirus case in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed first positive case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the Philippines.

Philippines stopped issuing visas on arrival to Chinese nationals on Tuesday
The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on Thursday the first case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the country.

This was announced by Health Secretary Francisco Duque in a press briefing on Thursday, January 30 after the laboratory results of the 38-year-old female Chinese patient under investigation (PUI) arrived today from the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia.

UPDATE: PH's first nCoV patient traveled to Cebu and Dumaguete, now asymptomatic

The Chinese woman arrived in the country from Wuhan, China via Hong Kong last January 21. The patient sought consult and was admitted in San Lazaro Hospital in Manila last January 25 after experiencing mild cough. She is currently asymptomatic or no signs or symptoms of illness.

Reports said that the Chinese woman flew from Hong Kong to Cebu and Cebu to Dumaguete via Cebu Pacific flight while she arrived via Philippine Airlines (PAL) from Dumaguete to Manila..


"I assure the public that the DOH is on top of this evolving situation. We were able to detect the first confirmed case because of our strong surveillance system, close coordination with World Health Organization and other national agencies," Duque said in a statement.

The Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID), which includes representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Interior and Local Goverment (DILG), Department of Justice and other agencies will convene a high-level meeting on Friday, January 31 to discuss the first confirmed case and developments arising from this health event.

The Bureau of Quarantine remains on high alert and is in constant coordination with authorities from all ports of entry for stricter border surveillance. DOH assured that its health facilities are equipped and prepared to receive and care for PUIs and confirmed 2019-nCoV cases.

DOH has recorded a total of twenty-nine (29) PUIs:
  • Metro Manila (18)
  • Central Visayas (4)
  • Western Visayas (3)
  • MIMAROPA (1)
  • Eastern Visayas (1)
  • Northern Mindanao (1)
  • Davao (1)

Twenty-three (23) PUIs are currently admitted and five (5) have been discharged but are still under strict monitoring. DOH also reported one PUI mortality, the 29-year-old Chinese man from Yunnan, China who died of pneumonia at San Lazaro Hospital.

"I urge the public to stay calm and remain vigilant at all times. Let us continue to practice good personal hygiene and adopt healthy lifestyle," the Health Secretary concluded.

Duterte not inclined on banning flights from China

On Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte said he is not keen on banning flights to and from areas in China affected by the novel coronavirus epidemic.

“Not yet at this time. As a matter of fact, there is no known transmission from human to human na galing China,” Duterte said.

The president added that imposing travel ban might be difficult to undertake.

“Mahirap 'yang sabihin mo you suspend everything because they are not also suspending theirs and they continue to respect the freedom, flights that we enjoy in their country,” Duterte added.

UPDATE: Duterte finally agrees temporary travel ban from China province, says Senator Go

Meanwhile, passengers from China arrived in Davao City on Wednesday noon amidst the increasing numbers of confirmed cases of nCoV globally.

— The Summit Express


Add a comment here
  1. can your machine detect latent cases of coronavirus?

  2. Total ban of all the flights from China to in need to be imposed.

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