Claim: A message saying a “patient tested positive” for the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) at the Makati Medical Center circulated on messaging apps and social media platforms on Monday, January 27.
The message read: “Hi team, please prevent going to Makati Med. My father-in-law informed us just now that one patient tested positive from Corona Virus (sic). Though naka quarantine na (the patient’s already quarantined)…but still. Also please wear surgical mask at all times most especially whenever we are in Enterprise or Makati area because…ang dami talagang galing china (there really are a lot of people coming from China).”
The message continued: “Government banned direct flights from Wuhan but these people enter through different routes just so they would get out of Wuhan. Mala Train To Busan talaga ang dating (The situation is like Train to Busan). Pati laging mag (Also always use) alcohol after using the elevator. Thanks thanks.”
The message came from a certain “Janelle (Zenith),” as indicated at the bottom of the message.
Three readers forwarded the message to Rappler for verification. Rappler also spotted at least two Facebook posts that said the same claim.
The facts: There is still no confirmed case of the 2019 nCoV in the Philippines as of January 28, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
However, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a press briefing that there are a total of 27 persons under investigation as of 1:30 pm, January 28. Three of them have already been discharged as they tested positive not for 2019-nCoV but for other diseases.
The Makati Medical Center reiterated the DOH warning against posting unconfirmed information about the novel coronavirus in a post on its official Facebook account. It was shared at 1:36 pm on January 27, or when the message about an alleged confirmed case started to spread.
On January 24, the DOH announced that the 5-year-old boy with a suspected case of the new coronavirus in Cebu City tested negative.
Rappler has so far debunked 3 claims since the novel coronavirus outbreak. On January 15, a false claim about a “SARS case” reported in a clinic at Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong City came out. More than a week later, another false claim circulated, that there are “confirmed cases” of coronavirus at the PBCom Tower in Makati. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com
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