By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Philippines Department of Health (DOH) reported today on the first novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) death outside of China.


Two patients have been confirmed with the virus in the country– the previously-announced 38-year-old Chinese female and her companion, a 44-year-old Chinese male.

Both patients were admitted for isolation and supportive treatment at San Lazaro Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila. Both patients are from Wuhan, China and arrived in the Philippines via Hong Kong last January 21, 2020. The second confirmed case was admitted for pneumonia last January 25, 2020  after experiencing fever, cough, and sore throat.

DOH also confirmed that the 44-year-old male died yesterday, February 1, 2020. Over the course of the patient’s admission, he developed severe pneumonia due to viral and bacterial infections (S. pneumoniae and Influenza B). In his last few days, the patient was stable and showed signs of improvement, however, the condition of the patient deteriorated within his last 24 hours resulting in his demise.

“I would like to emphasize that this is an imported case with no evidence of local transmission.  We are currently working with the Chinese Embassy to ensure the dignified management of the remains according to national and international standards to contain the disease,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said.

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DOH is assuring the public that all measures needed to contain the spread of the virus is being strictly implemented and followed. San Lazaro Hospital has implemented rigorous infection control protocols while caring for these patients. Both patients were isolated following strict isolation standards, and all health personnel who came in contact with them practiced stringent infection control measures and wore appropriate personal protective equipment.

Currently, there are no reports of community spread of the virus within the country. However, the public is still reminded to practice prevention measures such as proper hand hygiene and observance of cough etiquette.

To date, 14,628 confirmed 2019-nCoV cases have been reported, including 305 deaths, globally.