People travelling for the Lunar New Year wear protective masks as they head to the departure area at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing on January 22, 2020.
AFP/Nicolas Asfouri
Duque: Boy confined for coronavirus showing 'good' signs of recovery
( - January 22, 2020 - 4:39pm

MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Wednesday the child from China who tested positive for a non-specific coronavirus strain while in Cebu City is showing “good” signs of recovery.

“The patient is no longer feverish and [has] less coughing so it is a good sign of recovery,” Duque said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.

He said the agency is puzzled that the child’s mother did not seem to develop any symptoms.

“Just the same, the mother is also hygienated and throat swab was done and blood samples were taken,” Duque said.

DOH announced Tuesday it was looking into a suspected case of novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV after the boy tested positive for “non-specific pancoronavirus assay.” The child had traveled from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the disease was discovered.

Samples from the child were sent to specialists in Australia to identify which coronavirus strain he carried.

The new virus has so far infected hundreds and killed nine people.

Three other Chinese nationals were checked by authorities at the Kalibo International Airport but they did not show symptoms that corresponded with the World Health Organization’s warning about the virus.

‘Still many blindspots’

In an earlier press briefing, Duque said much is still unknown about 2019 nCoV, which has caused alarm for its similarity to Severe Respiratory Syndrome.

“Let me just underscore there are still many blind spots with regard to the novel coronavirus and the information stream continues. We are awaiting for the recent developments, latest information through WHO, from Chinese Center for Disease Control and the Ministry of Health,” Duque said.

He explained coronaviruses can be transmitted through “aerial droplets”—sneezing and coughing—and stressed the importance of personal hygiene and cough etiquette.

(WHO) will hold an emergency meeting Wednesday to determine whether to declare a rare global public health emergency over the disease. — Gaea Katreena Cabico with a report from Agence France-Presse

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