By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Philippines Department of Health (DOH) reported today on 16 additional positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 49. The DOH and deployed surveillance teams are now conducting extensive information-gathering and contact tracing activities on the new cases.

Image/Hannah A Bullock; Azaibi Tamin

In addition, health officials, along with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) sent off 442 of the 445 repatriates from Japan who were quarantined at New Clark City (NCC), Capas, Tarlac. Those sent off were composed of 437 crew members and 5 passengers who were among the Filipinos aboard the Diamond Princess. All repatriates, together with the teams that attended to them, were all tested forCOVID-19 to ensure their safety.

Out of the 445 repatriates, 2 crew members tested positive for the disease and were immediately referred to the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital (JBLMRH). Disinfection procedures for the rooms used by the 2 patients have been implemented as well. Close contacts of the 2 confirmed cases shall undergo additional 14-day home quarantine and will be continuously monitored by their respective Municipal/City Health Offices. The remaining repatriate is left in NCC awaiting lab results.

“From the beginning, DOH was aware of the risk that some of the repatriates might test positive for COVID-19. This is why strict infection prevention and control measures were enforced during the quarantine period to protect our kababayans and the health workers attending to them,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said.


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