3 of 2019-nCoV patients’ co-passengers tracked down by CIDG now quarantined
MANILA, Philippines – Three persons who were co-passengers of the Chinese nationals infected with the 2019 Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) have been placed under quarantine, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said.
CIDG Director Maj. Gen. Joel Napoleon Coronel said on Monday that the three — now under the watch by the Department of Health (DOH) — were among the 193 co-passengers the police have been tasked to trace.
As of now, he said that 102 passengers have been contacted by CIDG.
“Of the persons contacted by CIDG, a total of three persons were brought in for examination by DOH for possible examination if they are infected with the coronavirus. And they are being, at the present, under quarantine,” Coronel said in an interview after the CIDG’s 67th founding anniversary.
“We have accounted already a total of 102 out of the 193 passengers that we need to contact, for the two flights wherein the two foreign nationals were found positive for the coronavirus, and we are submitting the results of our efforts to DOH and to the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government),” he added.
The two Chinese nationals were the first two confirmed cases of the 2019-nCoV in the Philippines, one of which died last February 1. He was also the first 2019-nCoV casualty outside mainland China.
CIDG was tasked to help government agencies in tracking the patients after it was revealed during a Senate hearing that only 17 percent of the co-passengers were tracked down.
The latest strain of the coronavirus which has drawn comparisons to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome originated in Wuhan, China. As of now, over 40,000 individuals have been infected with 910 dead. At least 3,300 patients have recovered from the virus.
According to Coronel, the biggest problem for CIDG was tracking down foreign nationals who do not have permanent residences or contact numbers in the Philippines.
“The principal challenge we had was those na passengers who are foreigners mostly, and who have not given exact contact addresses, or e-mail addresses or even telephone numbers,” he explained.
“What we did, we tasked the Anti-Cybercrime Group to help us to contact them and in fact, we have coordinated with the Bureau of Immigration, forwarded the details to them hoping that they can provide us additional information,” he added.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.