By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Philippines health officials reported ten new confirmed cases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) today. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 20.

Image/Hannah A Bullock; Azaibi Tamin

The Epidemiology Bureau (EB) of DOH is currently conducting comprehensive contact tracing activities for the said cases. DOH is also currently in coordination with concerned Local Government Units and Centers for Health Development for localized response and implementation of infection prevention and control measures.

“DOH has deployed additional surveillance teams to expedite contact tracing of the new cases. Rest assured that DOH is maximizing all channels, including coordinating with the Philippine National Police, other stakeholders and government agencies, to immediately identify, and isolate if needed, those who may have had contact with the confirmed cases,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said.

DOH urges all individuals who will be contacted by surveillance teams to fully cooperate in the investigation and contact tracing activities. Individuals with history of known exposure to a positive patient and/or history of travel to areas with local transmission, with mild symptoms such as fever, dry cough, fatigue, productive phlegm, sore throat, headache are advised to self-isolate and be home quarantined for 14 days. Those presenting severe and critical symptoms need to be immediately admitted to health facilities. They are urged to get in touch with DOH and call the designated hotline at (02) 8-651-7800 loc 1149-1150 for appropriate management and referral.

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“In light of the new confirmed cases, we reiterate that the best way to prevent getting infected is to practice personal preventive measures such as proper hand hygiene, social distancing, and cough etiquette. As much as possible let us also refrain from visiting public places and/or attending mass gatherings. We should continue to be vigilant, and I call on everyone to cooperate with DOH for us to hurdle through this crisis together,” the Health Chief concluded.