World News

APD | Department of Health confirms third 2019-nCOV ARD case in the country

2020-02-05 21:49 BY APD NEWS

By APD writer Melo M. Acuña

MANILA – The Department of Health confirmed that a sample from a 60-year-old female Chinese patient under investigation (PUI) tested positive for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCOV).  She is the third confirmed patient in the Philippines.

In a press briefing, Health Undersecretary Rolando Enrique D. Domingo said the patient arrived in Cebu City from Wuhan, China via Hong Kong last January 20,2020 and traveled to Bohol later.  On January 22, the patient consulted a private hospital in Bohol after experiencing fever and inflammation of a certain part of the nose known as coryza.

A sample taken from the patient last January 24 was sent and tested at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory in Australia and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).  The results from the tests came back negative last January 29 and 3o, and upon recovery of the patient, she was discharged and allowed to return to China via Cebu last January 31.

On February 3, the Department of Health was told by the RITM that a sample taken earlier, January 23, tested positive for 2019-nCOV making here the third confirmed 2019-nCOV ARD in the Philippines.

The Epidemiology Bureau (EB) initiated contact tracing of persons who interacted with or were in close proximity of the patient.  The Bureau of Quarantine (BoQ) and EB are coordinating with the concerned airline while the Central Visayas Center for Health and Development in in coordination with the hotel where the patient stayed and the hospital where she was admitted.

Incidentally, the DOH reported that as of midday today, there is a total of 133 Persons Under Investigation for the 2019-nCOV Acute Respiratory Disease (ARD).  Of the 133 PUIs, 115 are confined and isolated while 16 have been discharged under strict monitoring.

Included among the PUIs are 63 Filipinos, 54 Chinese and 16 others from other countries.  Thirty-two (32) of whom were reported to have traveled to Wuhan, China.

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III called on every Filipino and foreigner in the Philippines to cooperate with authorities to contain the virus.

“In such trying times, we should not let our fears overwhelm us and cause us to over-react.  We need to work together,” Secretary Duque added.

Also as of midday today, the Epidemiology Bureau has already assessed 203 contacts and home quarantined 188 contacts from the first and second confirmed cases.  Of the 203 contacts, 15 are symptomatic while 14 were already isolated for monitoring.  The agency is working with other agencies to facilitate contact tracing efforts.

The Department of Health called on passengers from Cebu Pacific flight 5J241 from Hong Kong to Cebu in January 20 and 21,2020, Cebu Pacific flight DG6519 from Cebu to Dumaguete on January 21,2020 and Philippine Air Lines flight PR 2542 from Dumaguete to Manila on January 25,2020 to cooperate with DOH representatives who will touch base with them for assessment purposes.  (Melo M. Acuña)