Philippines Confirms 5th Coronavirus Case In Filipino With No Travel History

The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed a 4th and 5th case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in 2 Filipinos. It is the first time a Filipino has tested positive for the virus in the Philippines.

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DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III disclosed in a press conference this Friday that the 4th positive case in the Philippines is a 48-year-old male Filipino who visited Japan and returned to Manila on February 25. He began experiencing the symptoms of chills and fever last March 3, but is currently stable.

The 5th positive case is of a 62-year-old Filipino male with no known travel history. He had known pre-existing conditions of hypertension and diabetes mellitus then started experiencing cough with phlegm on February 25. He was admitted to a hospital in Metro Manila with severe pneumonia on March 1.

The man was a frequent visitor of a Muslim prayer hall in the San Juan area. While the man reportedly had not travelled outside of the Philippines in recent history Duque said it cannot be treated as a confirmed local transmission of COVID-19 as of yet.

“There is no transmission to speak of as of [now]. There’s only one. That’s why we’re doing contact tracing…But now it’s premature to say that there’s local transmission,” Duque said.

The DOH and concerned local government units are now tracing all individuals who may have come into contact with the 2 confirmed cases.

Both cases are admitted at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

“We can still contain the spread of the virus in the country, which is why we are encouraging the public to practice proper handwashing, social distancing, and cough etiquette. We call on the public to be vigilant and continue doing their part in containing the disease,” Duque added.

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