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12 persons being watched by DOH in Central Visayas for coronavirus

/ 04:08 PM January 22, 2020

CEBU CITY –– At least 12 persons are being monitored by the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) after a five-year-old Chinese boy, who traveled from Wuhan in China to Cebu City, tested positive for a “non-specific pancoronavirus.”

DOH-7 Director Jaime Bernadas said these people were those who had physical contact with the Chinese boy since their arrival in Cebu on January 12.

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These people were not isolated as they have not shown symptoms of the coronavirus.

They were, however, being monitored as of now.

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The only ones isolated in a Cebu City hospital were the boy and his mother. The mother though has not shown signs of sickness as of Wednesday, January 22.

“What we are doing now is just monitoring (the 12 people) and these have already been identified as those who are in the hospitals and some health workers. So far, for the 12 people, none have manifested symptoms,” said Bernadas in an interview.

The boy himself has coughs but is currently stable and afebrile or not feverish. The DOH official, however, would not disclose which hospital the boy is being admitted or isolated so as not to cause panic.

Bernadas said the boy already has a fever when he arrived at the Mactan Cebu International Airport and the thermal scanners were able to detect him. The boy and his mother were immediately put into isolation.

The mother and child have tourist visas, but after further inquiries, the DOH found that the child was supposed to study in an English school in Cebu.

The boy is positive of coronavirus but as to which strain is still subject to a test. The specimen has been sent to Australia to identify the specific coronavirus strain.

Samples from the mother were also sent for testing.

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Both the mother and child wanted to go back to China but were prevented by authorities from traveling until the results of the tests are released.

Bernadas said the public need not panic since the health department is on top of the situation.

Quarantine and heightened monitoring in all ports are also in place in the region.

Aside from the Chinese boy and his mother, Bernadas said they earlier isolated another Chinese national.

But the other Chinese national was already discharged after being tested negative for coronavirus.

Bernadas said the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, the provincial hospital, is closed for cleanup for about two weeks but clarified that this is not related to the coronavirus.

“It is a routine cleanup. Vicente Sotto Hospital and for any other hospital for that matter have scheduled cleanups. Each room is to be cleaned up and fumigated,” said Bernadas./lzb

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TAGS: Cebu City, Central Visayas, Chinese, Chinese boy, Department of Health, DoH, pancoronavirus, Philippine news updates, Public Health, Regions, Wuhan
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