American coronavirus patient in PH in 'critical' condition – DOH

MANILA, Philippines – The 86-year-old American COVID-19 patient in the Philippines is in “critical” condition, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Tuesday, March 10.

Duque relayed the condition of the patient – who had a history of travel to the United States and South Korea prior to his arrival in the country – in a chance interview at the Batasang Pambansa on Tuesday, when he was asked for an update about the 24 who tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

He said that the 62-year-old Filipino man, the first case of local transmission in the Philippines,  was still in critical condition and was intubated.

"'Yung isa naman is the [86]-year-old American. Critical, critical [‘yong sitwasyon nila] (The other is the 86-year-old American. Their situation is critical)," Duque said.

The 86-year-old American has preexisting hypertension. He had a history of travel to the US and South Korea, where more than 700 and 7,400 people, respectively, tested positive.

The American was admitted in the Medical City-Ortigas in Pasig City, while the 62-year-old Filipino was under observation at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM)

The 62-year-old Filipino patient had been in a  “very critical” condition since Saturday, March 7. He has preexisting hypertension and diabetes. 

On Tuesday, Duque was in the House of Representatives to attend the hearing of the committee on appropriations, which approved the bill allocating a P1.6 billion supplemental budget for the agency’s anti-coronavirus efforts.  

This happened a day after President Rodrigo Duterte declared a state of public health emergency. Classes in Metro Manila were suspended from March 10 to 14.

The DOH has probed a total of 725 patients in the country for possible infection, but only 44 of them remain admitted in medical facilities nationwide. The other 657 have already been discharged. 

Outside the country, at least 91 Filipinos caught 2019-nCoV overseas, including Singapore, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and the M/V Diamond Princess Cruise ship that had been docked in Yokohama, Japan. – 

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the Senate and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.