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Woman from Wuhan is Phl’s first confirmed coronavirus case

31 January 2020

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III


The Philippines confirmed its first case of Wuhan coronavirus infection on Jan. 30.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a news briefing that it was a 38-year-old woman from China who flew in from Wuhan via Hong Kong on Jan 21. She is currently in a government hospital where she was admitted on Jan 25 but is no longer showing symptoms.

The patient is among the 29 people monitored by the Department of Health for suspected infection.

DOH Epidemiology Director Ferchito Avelino said the authorities are now the establishments the woman had been to, and the employees she had contacted.


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Specimen taken from the woman was among six samples sent earlier this week to Australia for testing at the Victoria Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory. The rest tested negative.
Duque advised Filipinos to remain calm and vigilant, and said the DOH was on top of the situation.
He broke the news about the infection amid mounting pressure on the government to stop the entry of people from China to avert the spread of the coronavirus in the country.


President Rodrigo Duterte has dismissed the calls, saying it would be unfair to single out Chinese tourists for a ban.

But he said he was open to evacuating an estimated 300 Filipinos trapped in the central Chinese of Hubei, whose capital, Wuhan, has been identified as ground zero for the contamination.

The first Wuhan coronavirus case was reported to the World Health Organization in late December last year. In a span of less than a month, it has spread to all regions in China, and to many other parts of the world.

The number of cases of the pneumonia-like illness in China has risen to more than 8,000, with a death toll f 171 as of this writing.

The Chinese National Health Commission said in its daily report that 1,370 patients remained in critical condition and 12,167 people were suspected of being infected by the virus by midnight of Jan 29.

A total of 124 people had recovered and been discharged from hospital.

A total of 88,693 close contacts had been traced, among whom 2,364 were discharged from medical observation on Wednesday. At least 81,947 others are still being monitored.
In Hong Kong, the 11th and 12th confirmed cases were reported today, Jan. 31.

The 11th case was the employer of the Filipina domestic worker who was quarantined on Jan 24 after the employer’s parents who were visiting from Wuhan, tested positive for the coronavirus The daughter had not been to China recently.

The 12th  confirmed patient is a 75-year-old man living in Cheung Hong Estate in Tsing Yi who had been to Guangdong from Dec 30 to Jan 7. He was admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital two days after developing a cough and shortness of breath on Jan. 22. He has been isolated and is now in stable condition. - With reports from Rappler and Xinhua


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