10 quarantined Filipinos from Japan cruise ship coronavirus-free – DOH

Ten Filipinos from the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship who showed flu-like symptoms at the New Clark City (NCC) quarantine facility tested negative for the virus, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday, March 2.

They are among the 14 patients under investigation (PUIs) in NCC. Ten of them manifested sore throat, 3 had a cough, and one had a fever.

The four others are still waiting for the results of their novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) test. 

"We are more than ready to cater to the needs of our kababayans (countrymen) should they test positive for COVID-19. We are also geared up for the possibility of local transmission," said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. 

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the 2019-nCoV, which originated in Wuhan, China. So far, the virus has killed more than 3,000 people worldwide, with 2,912 fatalities in China alone. The virus has spread to more than 60 countries. (READ: Global coronavirus death toll passes 3,000 with new China count)

As of Monday, 12 noon, Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that there have been 638 cases monitored in the Philippines, but only 43 remain admitted while the 592 others have already been discharged.

There are 458 individuals currently quarantined in the Clark facility, nearly all of whom were from the virus-hit Diamond Princess and were repatriated by the government to the Philippines last week.

The cruise ship was placed under quarantine since February 5 in Yokohama, Japan after passengers tested positive for the new virus, six of whom had died from the disease.

As of Sunday, March 1, all crew members of the Diamond Princess have disembarked, Japan's health minister said. (READ: All crew members have left virus-hit ship in Japan- minister)

The Philippine government's repatriation of its nationals did not include the 80 Filipinos aboard the Diamond Princess who tested positive. Of the 80, 32 have already recovered and 10 have gone home to the countries where they are based. 

Six other Filipinos have been confirmed to have the virus, but all live outside the Philippines – two in the United Arab Emirates, two in Hong Kong, and two in Singapore. – Rappler.com

Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a researcher-writer at Rappler. Possessing the heart and soul of a feminist, she is working on specializing in women's issues in Newsbreak, Rappler's investigative arm.