Add the Philippines to the list of countries with the novel coronavirus. (See the list here.)
The Department of Health confirmed today, January 30, 2020, in a press conference that a woman traveling from Hong Kong to the Philippines is the first case of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the country.
"Today, the DOH is confirming that a 38-year-old female Chinese patient under investigation (PUI) is positive for the novel corona virus 2019 after her lab results arrived today from the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told reporters.
He added that the patient, who originated from Wuhan, China, arrived in the Philippines on January 21, 2020 through Hong Kong and was admitted in an undisclosed government hospital on January 25 after complaining of mild cough. "She is currently asymptomatic," Duque says, which means the patient is showing no symptoms.
Secretary Duque also said that they have recorded a total of 29 PUIs so far, 18 of whom are in Metro Manila.
The rest of the PUIs have been located as follows: 4 in Central Visayas, 3 in Western Visayas, 1 in MiMaRoPa, 1 in Eastern Visayas, 1 in Northern Mindanao, and 1 in Davao.
He added, "The DOH assures that its health facilities are equipped and prepared to receive and care for PUIs as well as confirmed 2019-nCoV cases."
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Since the first case of the novel coronavirus was reported in Wuhan City, Hubei, China in December 2019, it has continued to spread in other countries, affecting 7,000 individuals from at least 19 countries, and causing 170 deaths to date.