Philippines records 2 new confirmed coronavirus cases | Inquirer News

Philippines records 2 new confirmed coronavirus cases

By: - Reporter / @ConsINQ
/ 12:00 PM March 06, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday reported two new confirmed cases of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that brought the total number of confirmed cases in the country to five.

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In a press conference, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the first new case is that of a 48-year-old Filipino man whose samples tested positive for COVID-19. The patient has a travel history to Japan, the DOH said.

Duque said the patient became symptomatic after experiencing “chills and fever” on Feb. 25 which prompted the latter to seek hospital treatment.

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The patient’s specimen was sent to the RITM for testing and was found positive for COVID-19 on March 5, Duque said.

“The patient sought medical consultation at a hospital and samples were collected for testing. Results tested positive for COVID-19 on March 5. He is currently stable and admitted at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine,” Duque said.

The second new confirmed case is that of a 62-year-old Filipino man who was diagnosed with hypertension and diabetes mellitus, Duque said.

The second patient is a regular visitor of a Muslim prayer hall in Barangay Greenhills in San Juan City, experienced cough and severe pneumonia on Feb 25 which led him to consult a hospital in National Capital Region on March 1, the DOH said.

A test sample was collected from the patient on March 4 and a day later, the specimen was found positive for the deadly disease, the DOH said.

Duque said the patient “has no known history of travel outside of the country.”

Duque said the two Filipino patients are currently staying at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City. The 48-year-old Filipino is now under stable condition while the latter is still suffering from severe pneumonia.

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Duque also disclosed that the two new confirmed cases are residents of Metro Manila. Duque, however, did not give any specific information to protect the privacy of the two patients.

“We cannot give you that information so we will keep it at that for [the patients’] privacy,” he said.

‘Just a local case’

Duque said the latest cases are not considered as local transmissions of the coronavirus but only as local cases.

“It is a local case. [There is] no transmission to speak of as of yet because we only have one,” he said. “It is premature to say that there is a local transmission,” he added.

Duque said they are currently doing contact tracing for both new cases and has ensured coordination with those who have interacted with the two patients.

“DOH is also in close coordination with the concerned local government units for concerted action on identifying persons who had interaction with the confirmed cases and strengthening of infection prevention and control protocols,” he said.

To recall, the first three confirmed cases in the country involved three Chinese nationals. The confirmed cases are that of a 44-year-old Chinese national from Wuhan City in China’s Hubei province who died on Feb. 1; his partner, a 38-year-old Chinese tourist; and a 60-year-old Chinese woman who has already returned to China.

Duque said they are currently doing contact tracing for both new cases and has ensured coordination with those who have interacted with the two patients.

“DOH is also in close coordination with the concerned local government units for concerted action on identifying persons who had interaction with the confirmed cases and strengthening of infection prevention and control protocols,” he said.

The DOH said there are more than 600 patients under investigation for COVID-19 nationwide, most of which are from Metro Manila.

Relative under observation

After conducting contact tracing and investigation, Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they are already monitoring the relative of the 62-year-old Filipino. Vergeire did not disclose the age and gender of the relative.

“Based on contact tracing, based on initial investigation… we already have one relative which has been all the patient all throughout and is now with him,” Vergeire said during the press briefing.

The health official said the specimen of the relative has been collected and they are now awaiting results from the RITM.

In an ambush interview, Vergeire said the relative is currently staying at a referral hospital which she did not identify.

Edited by MUF
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TAGS: Chinese nationals, confirmed cases, Department of Health, Francisco Duque III, novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD), persons under investigation
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