Chinese boy found with coronavirus symptoms in Cebu getting better as later tests turn out negative | Inquirer News

Chinese boy found with coronavirus symptoms in Cebu getting better as later tests turn out negative

/ 06:10 PM January 23, 2020

CEBU CITY—The five-year-old Chinese boy quarantined in the city for an undetermined strain of coronavirus could soon be discharged from the hospital after later tests showed he was getting better and did not have the virus that came from Wuhan, China which is now causing global health concerns, according to local health officials on Thursday (Jan. 23).

The boy, according to Dr. Van Philip Baton, no longer has fever, cough and other symptoms associated with the Wuhan coronavirus strain.


Results of the first tests made on a saliva sample of the boy were positive for an undetermined coronavirus strain. The tests had been done in Australia where the sample was sent.

Results of a second test done at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Manila a few days ago had turned out negative for coronavirus.


The regional office of the Department of Health is awaiting results of the third test which was also being done by the RITM and would determine if the boy and his mother may be discharged from the hospital.

Baton, medical officer of the DOH in Central Visayas, said if the third tests also result in negative findings, “we don’t have any reason to confine them for treatment because there is no health issue for them anymore.”

He said samples being collected from the boy now were for tests “to see if the patient is still positive for coronavirus.”

He said “fortunately”, the last samples that were tested turned out negative for the virus.

Baton said he was awaiting results of the third test “if it will still hold negative.”

Suspected coronavirus carriers in other countries, like Thailand and Japan, had already been discharged from hospitals, Baton said.

People with weak immunity systems are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.


The mother of the Chinese boy, on the other hand, continued to be healthy and is not showing any symptoms of coronavirus.

The other people, including health workers, who are being monitored also did not show any coronavirus symptoms until now.

Employees at the condominium unit where the boy stayed for a few hours also did not show symptoms of the virus, Baton said.

The boy and his mother arrived in Cebu last Jan. 12 through the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. The boy passed thermal scanner screening as he did not have fever during his arrival.

But when the boy and his mother arrived at the condominium unit, the boy showed flu-like symptoms, prompting his mother to bring him to a private hospital which later found signs of coronavirus.

The hospital staff informed the DOH regional office which moved the boy and his mother to an isolation facility.

Baton said thermal scanners sometimes fail to detect carriers of the virus especially if passengers have no fever during their arrival.

He said other measures are in place like coordination between and among hospitals and the Bureau of Quarantine.

As a precaution, Baton recommended the use of face masks in crowded places. He said all DOH hospitals in Cebu are on heightened alert, or Code White.

Edited by TSB

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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