DOH: 11 patients under investigation for suspected novel coronavirus

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 27, 2020   •   381

The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed that 11 patients are under investigation for suspected novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the Philippines.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the 11 patients under investigation have a history of travel to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the virus.

Based on the DOH, two of the 11 patients are in Metro Manila, one in MIMAROPA, three in Western Visayas, one in Eastern Visayas, three in Central Visayas and one in Northern Mindanao.

Duque said all the patients under investigation are being closely monitored. He also reiterated that there are still zero confirmed nCoV cases in the Philippines.

“There shouldn’t be any cause for alarm. Just because we flashed the areas where the PUIs come from, it doesn’t mean those areas are infected with the novel coronavirus, because there’s none. We keep harping the fact that there is none—still zero as of today,” he said.

DOH Epidemiology Bureau officer-in-charge Chito Avelino said the five-year-old patient in Cebu has already been discharged, while the others are already in the process of being released.

The DOH also reminds the public to practice good hygiene to prevent the risk of infection from any virus.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

China advises foreign diplomats to stop coming to Beijing

UNTV News   •   April 3, 2020

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying

China’s foreign ministry is advising foreign diplomats to stop coming to Beijing, after the country temporarily banned most foreigners from entering to prevent a resurgence of a coronavirus epidemic, a spokeswoman said on Friday (April 3).

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters during a daily briefing that the ministry was aware of confirmed coronavirus cases among foreign diplomats in China.

Mainland China reported 31 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 29 of which were imported from overseas, the country’s National Health Commission said on Friday.

The total number of infections now stands at 81,620 and 3,322 deaths have been reported from mainland China to date. (Reuters)

(Production: Shubing Wang, Irene Wang)

Healthcare workers may now get tested for COVID-19 as ‘vulnerable group’ — DOH

Marje Pelayo   •   April 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has established a protocol requiring all healthcare workers to undergo tests for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) despite exhibiting mild symptoms.

According to the DOH, healthcare workers belong to the ‘vulnerable’ group whose conditions need primary attention.

Since the fight against COVID-19 started in January, a number of doctors, nurses, hospitals and laboratory staffers have fallen ill, some have died, due to exposure to COVID-19.

Based on DOH’s previous policy on COVID-19 testing, workers belonging to the ‘vulnerable population’ should be prioritized but that included only senior citizens or the elderly with pre-existing medical conditions and those who are showing severe symptoms of the disease.

But following review of the policy on Tuesday (March 31), the DOH decided to include the healthcare workers to the vulnerable group.

“Kapag nagpunta sa isang health facility ang ating mga healthcare workers, dahil sila ay may sintomas o sila ay na- expose, kailangan po silang asikasuhin [Healthcare workers should be attended to once they show symptoms (of COVID-19) due to their exposure to the virus in a health facility where they work],” noted DOH Spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“Kailangan po silang i- test ng ating mga heathcare workers [We should test our healthcare workers],” she added.

The DOH is still collating information about healthcare workers or medical professionals across the country who have been affected by COVID-19.

Medical professionals who contracted the disease in line of duty will receive P100,000 insurance package each.

Meanwhile, relatives of medical front-liners who succumbed to COVID-19 will get P1-M financial assistance from the national government. MNP (with inputs from Aiko Miguel)

Teenage boy dies in London after testing positive for coronavirus

UNTV News   •   April 1, 2020

A 13-year-old boy in London who tested positive for coronavirus has died, a hospital said on Tuesday (March 31).

“Sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for COVID-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time,” King’s College Hospital said in a statement.

“The death has been referred to the coroner and no further comment will be made.”

The number of deaths from coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose by 27% as the UK government said 1,789 people have died in hospitals as of 1600 GMT on Monday, an increase of 381 from Sunday, the largest rise in absolute terms yet. (Reuters)

(Production: Gerry Mey, Michael Fiorentino)

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