MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday (February 10) advised the public to refrain from joining public events such as concerts amid the outbreak of 2019 novel Coronavirus-Acute Respiratory Disease (2019-nCoV-ARD).
The agency also encourages the public to avoid crowded areas and continue to practice self-protection measures so as not to contract the disease.
The DOH likewise urged organizers of large events and mass gatherings to postpone their schedule to curb the spread of the virus.
“It’s recommending people that in mass gatherings, na magkaka- dikit-dikit po sila (you are prone to skin contact). Avoid that. Postpone if possible,” appealed DOH Undersecretary Gerard Bayugo.
“But yung mga activities na di ma-control (But for inevitable activities), we expect the control infection protocol. That depends on the organizers making sure that the welfare of their participants is given priority,” he added.
The DOH also confirmed that there are, so far, 14 regions in the country reported persons under investigation (PUI) in their respective areas with a total of 314 PUIs across the country.
Of the said number, 183 are Filipinos, 99 are Chinese nationals and the rest are of diverse nationalities.
The Department clarified however that even so that most of the PUIs are Filipinos, none of them is declared positive of 2019nCov-ARD.
As of this writing, there remain three positive cases in the Philippines.
On Saturday (February 8), the DOH announced the discharge of the 38-year-old Chinese national, the first confirmed cases in the Philippines, as she was cleared and has fully recovered.
It is not confirmed, however, if she already left the country for China.
The Department, meanwhile, debunked reports on nCoV’s airborne transmission.
Domingo maintained that it is best to be aware of updates from authorized entities and for the public to be vigilant amid the ongoing outbreak.
“I did ask for information on this on the WHO office and they said that there’s nothing conclusive about it this time,” the official clarified.
“It is still being studied by the World Health Organization but of course precaution is still to be taken but until we are given hard evidence, right now, the WHO has not classified is as an airborne infection,” Domingo concluded. MNP (with inputs from Aiko Miguel)
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