PH coronavirus cases now at 142; 1st Filipino recovers from disease

Mara Cepeda

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PH coronavirus cases now at 142; 1st Filipino recovers from disease

The number of fatalities in the Philippines due to the novel coronavirus stays at 12

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines now has a total of 142 cases of the novel coronavirus after two more patients tested positive as of Monday, March 16. 

In a bulletin publicized at 7:44 pm on Monday, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed a 63-year-old man (Patient 141) and a 50-year-old man (Patient 142) tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

Patient 141 is currently confined at The Medical City-Ortigas in Pasig, while Patient 142 is under the care of the RESU-NCR (Reporting Facility). 

The DOH confirmed the two new cases less than an hour after Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri announced he tested positive for COVID-19. It remains unclear for now if the senator is among the two new cases.  

Other details about the patients, including places of residence and their travel histories, are still being validated by the DOH.  

The coronavirus fatalities in the country remain at 12. 

The DOH also reported on Monday the first Filipino to recover from the disease, a 46-year-old male resident of Pasay City who had been confined at the Makati Medical Center in Makati City. He was Patient 14.

He had started experiencing symptoms of cough and fever on February 25 but was only admitted to the hospital on March 5. He tested positive for COVID-19 on March 9. 

He is now asymptomatic or not showing any symptoms. He also tested negative for COVID-19 twice, so he was discharged from the hospital. 

“While this is a very welcome development, there is no reason for us to be complacent. In order to contain the virus, we may also need to extend community quarantine to other areas of the country,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.

“We need the public to cooperate with us now more than ever, and serve as our partners in ensuring that the spread of COVID-19 is put to a halt. Let us all act fast and act now,” he added. 

On Monday morning, Duque delivered a heartfelt but somber speech thanking health workers across the country for their “heroic” sacrifices to combat COVID-19. (READ: Duque thanks health workers: ‘The Filipino people will never forget your heroism’) 

President Rodrigo Duterte has already declared a state of public health emergency and placed the entire island of Luzon on lockdown from Monday until April 12 to help contain the outbreak.

The global death toll, meanwhile, has reached 6,501, with 3,213 of the fatalities in China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau). The number of cases worldwide has risen to 168,250, with more than 80,860 of the infections in China. The virus has spread to at least 142 countries. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.