DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III statement

-The DOH and RITM today revealed that as of yesterday February 01, 2020 24 patients under investigation (PUI) tested negative for the 2019 novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV while two tested positive.

-Samples from other four PUIs are currently being tested at RITM.

-The two positive cases are the previously announced 38-year old Chinese female and her companion a 44-year old Chinese male who were both admitted for isolation and supportive treatment in San Lazaro Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Both patients are from Wuhan, China and arrived in the Philippines via Hong Kong last January 21, 2020.

The second confirmed case was admitted for pneumonia last January 25, 2020 after experiencing fever, cough, and sore throat.

The DOH also confirms that the 44-year old male died yesterday, February 01, 2020. Over the course of patient’s admission he developed severe pneumonia.

In his last few days, the patient was stable and showed signs of improvement. However, the condition of the patient deteriorated within the last 24 hours resulting in his demise.

We are currently working with the Chinese Embassy to ensure the dignified management of the remains according to the national and international standards to contain the disease.

DOH is assuring the public that all measures needed to contain the spread is being strictly implemented and followed.

San Lazaro Hospital has implemented rigorous infection control protocols while caring for these patients.

Both patients were isolated following strict isolation standards and all health personnel who came in contact with them practiced stringent control measures and wore appropriate personal protective equipment.

The Epidemiology Bureau (EB) of the department is currently conducting contact tracing of passengers aboard the flights of the two positive cases.

EB has secured the manifestos of the flights and is in close coordination with the airlines.

Contact tracing activities are ongoing in Cebu and Dumaguete and in other places where the patients stayed and travelled to.

The Philippine government has implemented a temporary travel ban for travelers coming from China, Macau and Hong Kong.

DOH is monitoring every development on the 2019 nCoV very closely and is taking proactive measures to contain the spread of this virus in our country.

This health even is fast evolving and fluid. We are continuously recalibrating our plans and efforts as the situation develops.

We are providing the public with constant updates and advisories as frequently as possible so all I ask to public now is to heed the advisories from official DOH channel and to refrain from sharing unverified and unvalidated information.

I assure the public that we will keep you abreast of any information that we have.

Currently there are no reports of community spread of the virus within the country. However, the public is still reminded to prevention measures such as, as I have always been repeated proper hand hygiene and observance of cough etiquette.

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