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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

COVID-19 cases in the Philippines now at 49 — DOH


MANILA, Philippines (Update 1, 5:53 p.m.) — The Department of Health on Wednesday confirmed 16 additional novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country.

This was confirmed by Health Assistant Secretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire in a press briefing.

With the newest additions, this brings the national total to 49 patients of the new pathogen that originated in Wuhan, China.

The department's count has been on a steady rise in the past week, though Vergeire in an earlier briefing assured the public that the sudden influx was due the newly-declared localized transmission and more stringent surveillance measures on the part of the DOH.

Health workers are still gathering data on the newest patients, Vergeire said, although she confirmed that six of these were foreign nationals.

"Wala akong mga pangalan ngunit meron po akong gender and age," she said.

According to the DOH, all hospitals are required to accept and accommodate persons under watch.
'Community transmission'

Health Secretary Francisco Duque said that there is a possibility of community transmission of COVID-19.

"What we have now is localized transmission in the areas we have earlier mentioned. But the situation can very quickly progress into a community transmission, which means, there could be a larger area of affected communities," Duque bared during the hearing of the House Committee on Health earlier on Wednesday.

After the first cases of the virus were confirmed, Duque was careful to point out that all three had travel history to Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus outbreak, and thus were classified as imported cases or cases where the patients were infected abroad.

Because local transmission has now been declared by the Health department, the virus is now officially spreading among Filipinos on Filipino soil.

However, in the current scenario, contact tracing is still possible as authorities are still able to track a clear trail of the spread of the virus.

"I have said time and again that it's going to be a very real occurrence over the very short term," he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday morning signed Proclamation 922 declaring a state of public health emergency throughout the country amid the worsening scare.

As of this writing, some 106,000 worldwide have been afflicted with the new virus.

If you believe you have come into possible contact with infected patients, you may be directed to the proper office of the Department of Health for advice through the following lines: (632) 8651-7800 local 5003-5004 or (632) 165-364.

You may also opt to call the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine at (02) 8807-2631/ 8807-2632/ 8807-2637.

[By Philstar]

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