Confirmed COVID-19 cases in PH now 20–DOH

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The number of confirmed cases for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Philippines has now  reached a total of 20 since Monday after the Department of Health (DOH) reported  10 more cases on top of the four other cases announced Sunday night.

The figures were revealed by Health Secretary  Francisco Duque III, as he said all test results from the new cases were released Monday after samples were collected last March 6, 7 and 8.

According to Duque, the 11th to 20th patients are all Filipinos.

The following are the latest confirmed COVID-19 cases– 11th- 72 years old, Tricity Medical Center Pasig; 12th-56 years old, Makati Medical Center; 13th- 34 years old, MMC; 14th-46 years old, MMC; 15th-24 years old, MMC; 16th-70 years old, Unihealth Paranaque Hospital; 17th- 69 years old, Unihealth Paranaque Hospital; 18th- 41years old, TMC; 19th-46 years old, TMC and 20th- 48, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

Of the 10 new  cases, four patients have history of travel abroad- UAE, Australia, Taiwan and Japan.

The DOH is yet to establish if one patient has a history of travel abroad while two others have known exposure to a known COVID-19  case.

Meanwhile, speaking  in Monday’s Senate public hearing on COVID-19, DOH Medical Specialist IV Dr. Alethea de Guzman also said five of the first 10 cases have travel history abroad while the remaining five have no significant travel.

De Guzman also told the Senate economic affairs committee chaired by Senator  Imee Marcos  there are still 700 persons under investigation (PUIs) and 48 are currently  admitted in different hospitals. A total of 646 have been discharged.

At present, Marcos said 445 repatriates have remained at the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City, Capaz, Tarlac.

She also said there are 34 PUIs, more than half tested negative and the rest were awaiting laboratory results.

She also said the repatriates from the two cruise ships and from Macau have no PUIs. They were sent home for quarantine.

Dr. Gemma Arellano, of the DOH Emergency Operatiosn for COVID-19,  hoped that an “epidemic surge” will no longer happen in the country when the health  system will be overwhelmed.

At present, Arellano said that based on the DOH Response Framework, “we are at Four Door” since there is already evidence of local transmission.

“The fact that there is local transmission is a trigger for us that we need to step up our efforts. However, when there is an evidence of community transmission or epidemic surge, that means whatever additional efforts we are doing now need to be further skilled,” she further said.

Globally, she said, 106,026 persons have been sickened with the new coronavirus.

China has accounted for the most number of patients with 80,814 and 3,099 deaths. Outside of China, there are 25,212 confirmed cases in 101 countries with 493 deaths and 55 local transmissions.

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that 96.5 percent of all cases are from China. It also said 94.8 percent are from Hubei province, where Wuhan,the epicenter of the novel coronavirus is located.

The  four latest coronavirus patients in the country are getting medical attention in different private hospitals in Metro Manila.

Duque said the 38-year-old Taiwanese (7th case) with no recent travel history has been admitted to the Makati Medical Center and the 32-year-old Filipino (8th case) who traveled to Japan has been confined in St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City.

He also said the 86 year-old American (9th case) who traveled to the United States and South Korea is now in The Medical City in Ortigas while the 57-year-old Filipino (10th case) who has no recent travel history to COVID-19-hit countries is currently in St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City.

Duque said the decision to already disclose the names of the hospitals where the COVID-19 patients are being confined was meant to combat fake news.

He assured that all  these hospitals have the ability to manage these cases. “All of them are accredited and has high standards of care,” he added.

Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro earlier confirmed that the American male is a resident of his city./Stacy Ang

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