Coronavirus cases in Philippines rise to 10

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed 4 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the country on Sunday, March 8.

This brings to 10 the Philippines' total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The new cases, all admitted in private hospitals, are the following:

In a statement, the DOH said the patients were tested on Saturday, March 7, but results were only released Sunday.

Out of the 10 confirmed cases in the Philippines, 7 are confined, 2 have recovered, while 1 died. The fatality was a Chinese tourist.

The DOH said it is now investigating all the cases and gathering information from their hospitals, while coordinating with concerned local government units for "infection prevention and control measures."

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a speech at city hall on Monday morning, March 9, that there is a confirmed coronavirus patient hospitalized in the 1st District of the city. This is not a new case, however, as Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the patient is one of the 10 cases previously announced.

"That’s already part of the 10 persons that we are talking about.... Quezon City – this would be the hospital's address," Vergeire told CNN Philippines' The Source.

But she did not specify who among the 10 cases is currently admitted in Quezon City.

Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro also announced on Monday that the 86-year-old American male, who is among the latest patients, is a resident of the city.

Call for cooperation

President Rodrigo Duterte agreed to declare a state of public health emergency in the Philippines due to the confirmation of local transmission of the virus, upon the request of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

Duque urged the public, especially those who will be contacted by the DOH's surveillance teams, to fully cooperate.

Those with fever or respiratory symptoms and travel history are advised to call (02)8-651-7800 local 1149-1150.

"I call on the public to continue to be vigilant and practice personal preventive measures such as proper hand hygiene, social distancing, and cough etiquette," Duque said, adding that mass gatherings and crowded places should be avoided.

"Only through concerted effort at the community level will we be able to succeed against the threat of the disease." – Rappler.com