PH virus cases balloon to 24
UPDATE: Duterte confirms 4 new cases in San Juan City, Quezon City and Bulacan
President Rodrigo Duterte also disclosed Monday evening four new cases in West Crame in San Juan City, Santa Maria, Bulacan, and Project 6, Quezon City. The 11th to 20th patients are all Filipinos, with the youngest being 24 years old, and the oldest 72. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said all test results from the new cases were released Monday after samples were collected from March 6 to 8. The 11th to 20th patients are all Filipinos, with the youngest being 24 years old, and the oldest 72. Of the 10 new cases, four patients had a history of travel abroad to the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Taiwan, and Japan. DOH Medical Specialist IV Dr. Alethea de Guzman said five of the first 10 cases had a history of travel abroad while the remaining five have had no significant travel. De Guzman also told the Senate economic affairs committee there are still 700 patients under investigation (PUIs) and 48 are currently admitted in different hospitals. A total of 646 have been discharged. At present, she said 445 repatriates have remained at the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac. There were also 34 PUIs, more than half of whom tested negative. The rest were still awaiting lab results. She also said the repatriates from the two cruise ships and from Macau have no PUIs. They were sent home for quarantine. Dr. Gemma Arellano of the DOH Emergency Operations for COVID-19 had earlier expressed hope that an “epidemic surge” would not happen, as this would overwhelm the country’s health system. “The fact that there is local transmission is a trigger for us that we need to step up our efforts. However, when there is an evidence of community transmission or epidemic surge, that means whatever additional efforts we are doing now need to be further scaled,” she said. Globally, she said, 106,026 persons have been sickened with the new coronavirus. China has accounted for the most number of patients with 80,814 and 3,099 deaths. Outside of China, there are 25,212 confirmed cases in 101 countries with 493 deaths and 55 local transmissions. Data from the World Health Organization showed that 96.5 percent of all cases are from China. It also said 94.8 percent are from Hubei province, where Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus is located. The four latest coronavirus patients in the country are getting medical attention in different private hospitals in Metro Manila. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the 38-year-old Taiwanese (7th case) with no recent travel history has been admitted to the Makati Medical Center and the 32-year-old Filipino (8th case) who traveled to Japan has been confined in St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City. He also said the 86-year-old American (9th case) who traveled to the United States and South Korea is now in The Medical City in Ortigas while the 57-year-old Filipino (10th case) who has no recent travel history to COVID-19-hit countries is currently in St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. Duque said the decision to disclose the names of the hospitals where COVID-19 patients are being treated was aimed at combatting fake news. He also assured the public that it was safe to go to these hospitals as all of them have the ability to manage the COVID-19 cases. “All of them are accredited and have high standards of care,” he said. Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro earlier confirmed that the American male is a resident of his city. The World Health Organization on Monday said the world has passed a “somber moment” as the spread of COVID-19 reached a new high. “Not only have we passed the 100,000 cases confirmed globally, we also acknowledge now that more than 100 countries have confirmed COVID(19) cases,” said Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO representative to the Philippines As of Monday morning, the WHO global dashboard counted more than 106,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 from 103 countries. Duque said 53 of these countries’ transmissions are unrelated to China, the epicenter of disease. “While the efforts in China have been successful in controlling the spread, we have been seeing localized outbreaks affecting many countries,” Abeyasinghe said. Despite this, he said the WHO “reiterates we can still control the spread of the disease and prevent it from becoming a global pandemic.” He also pointed out that at least 81 percent of the cases are mild. He said those who developed critical and severe effects of the disease are elderly and have existing medical conditions.