Health officials confirm two more additional COVID-19 cases
MANILA – The Department of Health (DoH) reported two additional cases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Philippines. The total number of COVID-19 cases in the country reached to five (5).
In a press briefing, Health Secretary Duque said the 4th confirmed cases is a 48-year-old male Filipino who traveled earlier to Japan. The patient returned to the country last February 25 and experienced chills and fever from march 3. The patient sought medical consultation at a hospital where appropriate tests were made. The results proved positive for COVID-19 last March 5. He is in stable condition and currently confined to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), an agency under the Department of Health.
Meanwhile, the 5th confirmed case is a 62-year-old male with known hypertension and diabetes mellitus who also experienced cough with phlegm last February 25. The sought medical advice at a Metro Manila hospital last March 1 and was admitted with severe pneumonia. Specimen collected on March 4 tested positive for COVID-19 on March 5. He has not traveled outside of the country.
Contact tracing is being implemented for the two cases and samples have already been collected from close contacts. They are also in coordination with the concerned local government units for concerted action in identifying persons who interacted with the confirmed cases and strengthening of infection prevention and control protocols.
The 5th case is known to have regularly visited a Muslim prayer hall in Greenhills, San Juan City. Previous visitors to the prayer hall who may have had fever or respiratory symptoms have been advised to call the DOH Hotline (02)8-651-7800 for proper referral to appropriate health facilities.
“These recent developments are significant, but we are prepared to respond to its potential consequences. Our priority is to protect our health workers and the most vulnerable populations,” Secretary Duque was quoted saying. He said the government can still contain the spread of the virus in the country through proper handwashing, social distancing and cough etiquette.
‘We call on the public to be vigilant and continue doing their part in containing the disease,” Secretary Duque added. (Melo M. Acuña)
Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III (File Photo/Melo M. Acuna)