16 more Covid-19 cases in Philippines; total at 49

(UPDATED) The Department of Health (DOH) announced Wednesday, March 11, 16 additional cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the country.

This brought the total number of the country's Covid-19 cases to 49, as of 5:50 p.m. Wednesday.

DOH Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH will announce more details about these cases as soon as information is available.

"As of now, while our medical workers are doing the contact tracing and investigation, we only have the age and gender for all these new cases," she said.

She added that the DOH has deployed surveillance teams who are now conducting extensive information-gathering and contact tracing activities on the new cases.

As of Wednesday, March 11, Vergeire said patients 25 to 28, and patients 30 to 33 are all in stable condition.

Patient 29, a known contact of patient 9, is intubated and has underlying cardiovascular and endocrine conditions, she added.

"DOH is continuously monitoring the statuses of all patients to ensure that no complications arise throughout their recovery," she said.

Patients 25 (31 years old) and 26 (34 years old) are among the Filipinos repatriated from the M/V Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan last February. They were referred to a hospital for admission and isolation.

Vergeire said disinfection procedures for the rooms used by the two patients at the New Clark City quarantine facility had been implemented.

She added that close contacts of the two confirmed cases shall undergo an additional 14-day home quarantine and will be continuously monitored by the respective municipal and city health offices.

Vergeire also said that the DOH and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration already sent off 442 out of 445 repatriates from Japan who were quarantined at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.

Those sent off were composed of 437 crew and five passengers, who were among the Filipinos aboard the M/V Diamond Princess.

"All the repatriates, together with the teams that attend to them were all tested for Covid-19 for their safety," said Vergeire. "Out of the 445 repatriates, two crew members -- patients 25 and 26 -- tested positive for the disease and were immediately referred to our referral hospital."

She clarified that one repatriate remains at the New Clark City quarantine facility, awaiting his test results. (LMY)