DOH confirms 4 more Covid-19 cases

FOUR new cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) were confirmed late Sunday night, March 8, bringing the country's total to 10.

In a statement, the Department of Health (DOH) said laboratory test results for the four patients were released Sunday.

All four were found positive for the novel coronavirus, the pathogen that causes Covid-19. All four are in isolation at pruvate hospitals.

"DOH is currently investigating all the cases and gathering patients’ information from respective hospitals," said DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III.

The seventh case is a 38-year-old Taiwanese male with a history of contact with another Taiwanese national, who visited the Philippines and tested positive for Covid-19 in Taiwan.

The patient has no history of travel outside the country. He developed symptoms of Covid-19 on March 3.

The eighth case is a 32-year-old Filipino male with history of travel to Japan within the past 14 days. Symptoms of the disease began on March 5.

The ninth case is an 86-year-old American male with pre-existing hypertension and history of travel to USA and South Korea. Symptoms began on March 1.

The 10th case is a 57-year-old Filipino male with no history of foreign travel.

He was reported to have had contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case, although the DOH is still investigating details of his exposure.

The fourth, fifth and sixth cases are being treated at the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine.

The fifth case, a 62-year-old Filipino with underlying hypertension and diabetes, is in critical condition while the fourth, a 48-year-old Filipino employee of Deloitte in Bonifacio Global City, and the sixth, wife of the fifth case, are suffering from mild symptoms.

The first three cases were Chinese tourists, one of whom had died. The two others have returned to China.

Duque said the DOH is in coordination with concerned local government units and the Centers for Health Development for localized response and implementation of infection prevention and control measures.

Duque also said additional surveillance teams have been deployed to intensify contact tracing.

"We have been preparing for the possibility of local transmission in the country. Now that there are confirmed cases of local transmission, DOH and the Inter-agency Task Force are now implementing pre-planned measures to respond to the situation,” said Duque.

He called on the public to continue being vigilant and practice personal preventive measures, such as proper hand hygiene, social distancing, and cough etiquette.

For the moment, he stressed that the public must refrain from visiting public places and/or attending mass gatherings. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)