MANILA, Philippines – Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III confirmed that the 4 new patients who tested positive for the novel coronavirus are all admitted in private hospitals across Metro Manila.
In an interview with CNN Philippines on Monday, March 9, Duque said that the 4 positive cases are currently admitted in the following cities:
Only patients deemed by doctors as “severe” cases of 2019-nCoV would be referred to the government’s official referral hospitals like the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City, the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City, and the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, said DOH Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in a press conference on Monday.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a speech at city hall on Monday morning that a coronavirus-positive patient is hospitalized in the city’s 1st District.
Vergeire clarified that the patient Belmonte mentioned was among the 10 cases already announced by the Health Department.
Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro also confirmed in a statement that the 86-year-old American male is a resident of the city.
Vergeire reminded the public that only persons exhibiting flu-like symptoms after traveling to countries with 2019-nCoV cases or being exposed to confirmed cases should be tested for possible infection.
She explained that the coronavirus symptoms like cough and colds are similar to the symptoms of the common flu. Vergeire said that people who have not been exposed to a positive patient are “at very low risk” of getting COVID-19, the disease caused by 2019-nCoV.
“But for those people who exhibit signs and symptoms like fever, sore throat, cough and colds without any history of travel at all to those affected areas or without history of known exposure to those positive cases, they don’t need to worry. They [should] just monitor themselves and if symptoms progress, they can consult their doctor. But they are the ones at [ a ] very low risk of contracting this disease,” Vergeire said.
The Philippines now has 10 confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV , including 5 Filipinos, a Taiwanese, an American. The country’s first 3 cases were all Chinese, one of whom died while the other two have already recovered from COVID-19.
The country has also recorded its first local transmission of COVID-19 after a 62-year-old Filipino man with no travel history outside the Phililppines infected his 59-year-old wife. The couple is the country’s 5th and 6th positive cases.
President Rodrigo Duterte is set to issue on Monday an Executive Order formally declaring a state of public health emergency, under which patients suspected to have 2019-nCoV will be required to undergo the 14-day quarantine period.
The DOH has probed a total of 700 patients for possible infection, 48 of whom remain admitted in health facilities across the country while 646 have already been discharged.
Worldwide, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 109,800 people and killed 3,803, with most deaths still being recorded in Hubei, China, the epicenter of the outbreak. Still, over 60,700 have already recovered from COVID-19. – Rappler.com