3 from Japan, Singapore, South Korea get coronavirus after visiting PH

MANILA, Philippines – Three more visitors from Japan, Singapore, and South Korea tested positive for COVID-19 after visiting the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on Wednesday, March 11.

“We have 6 confirmed cases of foreign nationals with history of travel to the Philippines,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said before the House committee on health as he briefed the panel on the status of the local outbreak of COVID -19, the disease caused by the new virus. (WATCH: House briefing on coronavirus status)

He only referred to the 3 cases as “nationals” and did not disclose their genders nor the specific dates of their Philippine visit. 

Duque said one Japanese who traveled to the Philippines within the last 7 to 9 days is currently admitted in a medical facility in Japan. 

A Singaporean also tested positive for COVID-19 after staying in the Philippines for 3 days. 

Duque said a South Korean with an “extensive” travel history in the Philippines also caught the novel coronavirus here. The South Korean patient stayed in the Philippines for two months. 

There are now a total of 6 foreigners who visited the Philippines who would later test positive for COVID-19 after leaving the country.  

Apart from the 3 new cases announced by Duque on Wednesday, the DOH previously confirmed that a Taiwanese man, a Japanese male, and a woman from Australia also caught the virus after traveling to the Philippines. 

But both the DOH and the World Health Organization said the travel histories of the Taiwanese and Japanese cases indicate they might have gotten the virus outside the Philippines. 

Locally, the country has recorded a total of 33 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 31 of whom are exhibiting mild to moderate symptoms and two in critical condition. (READ: LIST: Confirmed coronavirus cases in the Philippines as of March 10

President Rodrigo Duterte has already declared a state of public health emergency.

As of Tuesday, the Philippines has recorded 33 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The confirmed cases included two patients who were in “critical condition” and the first death outside China – a Chinese tourist from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. – Rappler.com

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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 mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.