4 Chinese tourists under monitoring in Romblon for novel coronavirus
A hospital employee dons protective gear inside the holding area for patients suspected of being infected with a deadly SARS-life virus which originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, at the Manila Doctors Hospital compound in Manila on January 31, 2020.
AFP/Ted Aljibe

4 Chinese tourists under monitoring in Romblon for novel coronavirus

Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - February 1, 2020 - 11:52am

MANILA, Philippines — Four Chinese tourists from Shiyan in China's Hubei province, who arrived in Romblon on Friday morning, are being monitored by the Department of Health and local health officials in response to the outbreak of 2019 Novel (new) Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease or 2019-nCoV ARD.

Doctor Ederlina Aguirre of the local Provincial Health Office, through the Philippine Information Agency in Romblon, said that the tourists are apparently healthy and are not displaying any signs of illness.

The group arrived in the Philippines through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Monday before reportedly taking a bus to Lucena in Quezon and then taking a RoRo (roll on/roll off) bound for Tablas Island in Romblon.

The four tourists, however, were not officially classified by health authorities as patients under investigation (PUIs).

The incubation period, or the time between exposure to infection and observation of symptoms, for 2019-nCoV ARD ranges from 2 to 10 days, according to the latest estimates published by the World Health Organization.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also posted that it "believes at this time that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few a 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure...based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) viruses."

As of Friday noon, the Health department recorded 31 patients under investigation (PUI), 24 of whom are currently admitted including the country’s first confirmed case of 2019-nCoV ARD.

The infected patient is a 38-year-old Chinese woman who arrived locally on January 21 through Hong Kong from Hubei’s capital Wuhan City, the ground zero of the newly discovered strain of coronavirus.

However, the patient said to be asymptomatic or displaying no symptoms, only sought medical attention on January 25, visiting Cebu and Dumaguete before being admitted.

Meanwhile, six PUIs in the Philippines have been discharged under monitoring and one death due to pneumonia in an immunocompromised patient has been reported.

WHO on the last day of January also declared the novel coronavirus outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

At least 19 countries outside China have been affected as global confirmed cases have exceeded 9,800, according to WHO’s Friday situational report on the virus.

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