By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
For the first time since early February, the Philippines Department of Health (DOH) reported confirmed cases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
On Friday, health officials reported two additional confirmed cases, bringing the total of COVID-19 cases in the country to five.
The 4th confirmed case is a 48-year-old male Filipino with travel history to Japan. The patient returned to the Philippines last February 25 and experienced chills and fever beginning March 3. The patient sought medical consultation at a hospital and samples were collected for testing. Results tested positive for COVID-19 on March 5. He is currently stable and admitted at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
The 5th confirmed case is a 62-year-old male Filipino with known hypertension and diabetes mellitus, who experienced cough with phlegm last February 25. The patient sought medical consultation at a hospital in Metro Manila last March 1 and was admitted with severe pneumonia. Specimen collected on March 4 tested positive for COVID-19 on March 5. He also has no known history of travel outside of the country.
Contact tracing is being done for the two cases and samples have already been collected from close contacts. DOH is also in close coordination with the concerned Local Government Units for concerted action on identifying persons who had interaction with the confirmed cases and strengthening of infection prevention and control protocols.
The 5th case is known to have regularly visited a Muslim prayer hall in Barangay Greenhills, San Juan City. Previous visitors to the prayer hall who are presenting with fever and/or respiratory symptoms are encouraged to call the DOH hotline (02)8-651-7800 loc 1149-1150 for proper referral to the appropriate health facility.
“These recent developments are significant, but we are prepared to respond to its potential consequences. Our priority is to protect our health workers and the most vulnerable populations,” the Health Chief said.
“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 said.
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