(UPDATED) THE Department of Health (DOH) clarified Tuesday, March 10, that there are only nine new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the country, bringing the total to 33 (not 35 as earlier reported).
DOH Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the 11 reported by the DOH through its official Facebook page earlier was not actually the number of confirmed cases, but of positive samples.
Two of the 11 positive samples were repeat tests from patients 7 and 8 -- a 38-year-old Taiwanese with no travel history and a 32-year-old Filipino male who had travel history to Japan.
"We found out that the number initially reported to us was the number of samples, and while we did our validation, we only found nine new cases. So we only have new cases, not 11," Vergeire said.
The DOH announced on Monday, March 9, a total of 24 confirmed cases in the country.
Vergeire said all the new confirmed cases have been confined in various hospitals.
Patient 21 has been admitted at the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium, while patient 22 has been confined at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center.
Patient 23 was brought to the San Lazaro Hospital, Patient 24 to St. Luke's Medical Center-Quezon City, Patients 25 and 26 at the New Clark City quarantine facility, and Patients 27 to 33 at The Medical City.
Vergeire said patients 21 to 24 are currently in stable condition, while patients 25 and 26 are asymptomatic. The status of patients 27 to 33 is still subject for verification, she added.
The DOH assured that its Epidemiology Bureau is conducting comprehensive contact tracing activities for all the confirmed cases.
"The DOH is also in close coordination with local government units and Center for Health Development for implementation of prevention and control measures at the local level," said Vergeire.
She added that the Philippine National Police, government agencies and concerned stakeholders are helping in the identification and management of close contacts.
The health department once again called on the public to cooperate in the investigation and contact tracing, with the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
Vergeire said those close contacts who may develop mild symptoms are advised to isolate or subject themselves to home quarantine for 14 days to prevent the spread of the new virus, while those with severe symptoms are advised to go to health facilities for admission and isolation.
The DOH also advised Filipinos to avoid visiting public places or attending mass gathering, and at the same time practice proper hygiene, cough etiquette and social distancing. (LMY)