As of Friday, March 6, The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed 2 new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Philippines. Of these two, one is reported to be a potential case of local transmission.
The 4th confirmed case in the country is a 48-year-old male Filipino who returned from Japan on February 25. It was reported that he experienced chills and fever beginning March 3 and tested positive for COVID-19 on March 5. The patient is currently stable and admitted at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
On the other hand, the 5th confirmed case is a 62-year-old male who has no history of travel outside of the country. The patient sought medical consultation at a hospital in Metro Manila on March 1 and tested positive for COVID-19 on March 5.
The DOH which is spearheading the containment of the virus in the country is now in close coordination with the concerned local government units as they tighten their grip on tracing other cases. It was reported that the 5th patient is known to be a regular visitor of a Muslim prayer hall in Barangay Greenhills, San Juan City, so authorities are looking into the possibility of a case of local transmission.
In an interview, Health Secretary Francisco Duque shared their insight about the virus, “We can still contain the spread of the virus in the country, which is why we are encouraging the public to practice proper handwashing, social distancing, and cough etiquette. We call on the public to be vigilant and continue doing their part in containing the disease,” Duque said.
If you or someone you know has visited a prayer hall in San Juan City and is experiencing fever and/or respiratory symptoms, you are encouraged to call the DOH hotline (02)8-651-7800 loc 1149-1150 for proper referral to the appropriate health facility.
First Three Cases
The first three confirmed cases in the country are foreign nationals. The first case is a 38-year-old Taiwanese male who visited the Philippines from February 28 to March 3; the second case is a 44-year-old Japanese male who also traveled to Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Japan; while the third case is a female living in Sydney, Australia, who attended a wedding in Manila.
As the number of people infected by the COVID-19 rises, it is best to stay calm and vigilant at all costs. DOH advises everyone to wear protective masks when going out in public places and keep yourself healthy.