The Philippines has 33 cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday revealed, as the government sought ways to contain the fast-spreading disease.
The DOH has confirmed 9 additional cases of the new coronavirus, bringing the country’s total to 33.
There were no other available details.
The number of COVID-19 cases started increasing on Sunday when the DOH announced three new cases, from only three since early February.
COVID-19 may be fatal for the elderly, the immunocompromised, and those with underlying medical condition but 80 percent of cases globally showed a high chance of recovery “without needing special treatment,” according to the World Health Organization.
WHO said COVID-19 symptoms include fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. The new respiratory disease has left 3,800 dead and affected 110,000 worldwide.
DOH earlier said that it has deployed additional surveillance teams to conduct contact tracing. Contacts who need to be interviewed are those who lived or traveled with the positive cases.
Meanwhile, there are more than 80 Filipinos abroad who tested positive for COVID-19.
Many of them are from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan and have already recovered.
President Rodrigo Duterte said it was too early for the government to lock down Metro Manila due to the coronavirus outbreak as the Philippines has “not reached that kind of contamination.”
Duterte explained that the local transmission of the disease does not justify a regional lockdown, citing economic losses.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said it might be “premature” to place Metro Manila on lockdown due to the virus threat even as the government sought to control the local transmission of the disease.
Health authorities still have to wait for evidence of “sustained community transmission” before the government declares a lockdown, Duque told reporters in Malacañang./Stacy Ang