PH confirms second case of novel coronavirus, first nCoV death outside China

MANILA – The Philippines confirmed on Sunday, February 2, its second case of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). But the report also announced the death of the patient while undergoing treatment. This is the first reported 2019-nCoV death outside China.
PH confirms second case of novel coronavirus, first nCov death outside China

On Thursday, January 30, Health Secretary Francisco Duque confirmed the first case of 2019-nCov in the Philippines. The patient is a 38-year-old female Chinese from Wuhan, China, who arrived in Cebu City from Hong Kong, before traveling to Dumaguete City and Manila.

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

The woman’s 44-year-old boyfriend, who also accompanied in her travel, was also confined at San Lazaro Hospital in Manila after experiencing “fever, cough and sore throat.” While the patient appeared to become better after some days of treatment, his condition worsened.

READDOH confirms first novel coronavirus case in the Philippines

PH confirms second case of novel coronavirus, first nCov death outside China
Screenshot from Department of Health's Facebook video.

“Over the course of the patient's admission, he developed severe pneumonia. In his last few days, the patient was stable and showed signs of improvement. However, the condition of the patient deteriorated within the past 24 hours resulting in his demise,” Duque announced.

The patient died on Saturday, February 1. The Health Secretary also explained that they are now coordinating with the Chinese Embassy for the cremation of the man’s remains.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in the Philippines noted that although the death happened in the country and is the first confirmed death due to the novel coronavirus outside of China, this is not a locally acquired case. The man and his girlfriend were already infected of the virus before arriving in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the first patient who also happens to be this Chinese guy’s girlfriend is reportedly in stable condition.


As of 12 noon on Saturday, a total of 36 patients are being monitored for possible 2019-nCoV across the country. The Health Department also confirmed that the earlier-reported death (before the report on the first confirmed positive case) in San Lazaro Hospital of a Chinese guy suspected of the novel coronavirus tested negative.

Duque assures the public that measures are being implemented to prevent the spread of the disease in the country.

“The Epidemiology Bureau (EB) of the department is currently conducting contact tracing of passengers aboard the flights of the two positive cases. EB has secured the manifestos of the flights and is in close coordination with the concerned airlines,” he announced.

“Currently, there are no reports of community spread of the virus within the country. However, the public is still reminded to practice prevention measures such as proper hand hygiene and observance of cough etiquette.”

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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