Palace: 'No need for alarm' on 2 new COVID-19 cases, gov't ready, transparent | Inquirer News
Assures of readiness, transparency

Palace: ‘No need for alarm’ on 2 new COVID-19 cases, gov’t ready, transparent

/ 02:31 PM March 06, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Friday assured the public that there’s no need to be alarmed on the reported two new cases of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, stressing that the government is well-prepared and the handling of the health concern is “transparent.”

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier reported two new COVID-19 infections in the Philippines, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the country to five.

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“There’s no need for alarm or worry because we’re ready, from the very start we’ve already said that,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo told reporters in Malacañang.

One of the two new cases is that of a 48-year-old Filipino man who has travel history to Japan while the other one raised concerns of possible local transmission as the 62-year-old patient showed no history of travel.

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The Palace official also assured that the government is prepared for the worst-case scenario. He also allayed fears of alleged “misreporting” by the DOH after two travelers from the Philippines reportedly tested positive for the new coronavirus in Taiwan and Australia.

“I think Sec. (Francisco) Duque is a very efficient man. He has shown that even before when he was Secretary of Health in the previous administration,” Panelo said.

Asked if the DOH is being transparent in handling the virus scare, the Palace official answered: “Oh yes. Definitely. We should all be transparent because it affects all of us.”

To recall, the first three confirmed cases in the country involved three Chinese nationals. The first two cases were a Chinese couple who traveled to the country from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak. The man died on Feb. 1, while the woman has been cleared of the virus.

The third case, meanwhile, was that of a 60-year-old Chinese woman who arrived in Cebu City from Wuhan via Hong Kong on Jan. 20 who has already returned to China.

Edited by MUF
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