Health Secretary Duque confirms first case of novel coronavirus in PH

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (Photo from INQUIRER)

Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque has confirmed on Thursday that Philippines has a confirmed case of novel corona virus (nCov) infection.

In an announcement, the Health department confirmed that a Chinese female student is positive for nCov after her lab results arrived.

“Today the DOH is confirming that a Chinese female patient under investigation is positive for novel coronavirus 2019 after her lab results arrived from the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia,” Duque said

According to a report of Inquirer, the lab results of the said patient arrived from Australia on Thursday confirming that the said patient is positive of nCov.

The 38-year old woman reportedly travelled from Wuhan, China via Hong Kong on January 21, 2020 and consulted a doctor on January 25 due to mild cough.

“We are working closely with the hospital where the patient is admitted and have activated the Incident Command System of the said hospital for appropriate management, specifically on infection control, case management, and containment,” says Duque

The Health secretary added that the patient did not show any symptoms, or fever except for cough. She is also confined in a government hospital somewhere in Manila.

On the other hand, Duque reminded the citizens to “stay calm and remain vigilant at all times.”

“I assure the public that the Department of Health is on top of this evolving situation. We were able to detect the first confirmed case because of our strong surveillance system, close coordination with World Health Organization and other national agencies, and the utilization of DOH’s decision tool,” he said.

Reports also said that DOH has already recorded a total of 29 patients that are under observation, mostly are in Metro Manila.

After the outbreak, DOH said that total death toll in China has increased to 170 individuals.

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