MANILA, Philippines – Confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country rose to 24 as announced by President Rodrigo Duterte in a press briefing in Malacañang on Monday evening (March 9).
The President identified cases 21 to 24 as residents of West Crame in San Juan City; Sta. Maria in Bulacan and Project 6 in Quezon City.
“Twenty-four as of last count, but the infection, the transmission, is going on,” the President announced.
Earlier on Monday, the number of confirmed cases doubled from 10 to 20 following the Department of Health’s (DOH) receipt of the test results for COVID-19.
Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters, however, that the Department is still gathering information on the places of residence and contact history and whereabouts of cases 11 to 20.
The official said they are still gathering information as to how the new cases were ‘epidemiologically linked’ to the previous cases.
Vergeire said they have already launched contact tracing on the new cases.
The official clarified that the newly confirmed cases had been identified through the agency’s stringent surveillance measures.
She warned the public, however, that since local transmission has been declared for COVID-19, that means novel coronavirus is obviously spreading among Filipinos.
With that, the DOH expects the number of confirmed cases to rise further in the coming days.
“Ang biglang pagdami ng kaso ay dahil sa maigting na surveillance na ginagawa natin ngayon (The sudden rise in the number of cases is due to the stringent surveillance that we are doing),” she said.
“Nakakakita na tayo ng mga tao na nagpopositibo dito sa ating bansa (We can now identify the positive cases in our country),” she added.
On Monday afternoon, the DOH Epidemiology Bureau reported tracing 468 persons who had close contact with cases 4 to 10 and have been subjected to the Department’s health protocols. MNP (with inputs from Aiko Miguel)
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