The Department of Health has confirmed the second case of the 2019 novel coronavirus or 2019 nCoV in the Philippines.
The STAR/Edd Gumban
First confirmed nCoV death outside China is in Philippines
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - February 2, 2020 - 10:52am

MANILA, Philippines (5th update, 3:21 p.m.) — The second case of novel coronavirus confirmed by the Department of Health on Sunday morning became the first recorded death outside China.

The 44-year-old male companion of the first confirmed carrier of the virus, a 38-year-old woman, also tested positive for the virus, the DOH confirmed at a press briefing.

However, the man passed away on February 1, days after he was admitted for fever, cough and sore throat. In his last few days, the patient was reported to be in stable condition before his sickness worsened within 24 hours, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said.

The man was also found to have severe pneumonia, a lung inflammation due to viral or bacterial infection.

Both diagnosed patients came from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the virus, and arrived in the Philippines from Hong Kong. Urging for calm, Rabindra Abeyasinghe, the World Health Organization's representative in the Philippines, stressed that the couple did not acquire the virus in the Philippines.

"This is the first reported case outside of China. However, we need to keep in mind that he came from Wuhan, China," Abeyasinghe said at the same press conference.

The woman, meanwhile, is still in isolation and treatment at San Lazaro Hospital, an infectious disease facility in Manila.

The department assured the public that both patients were isolated and that "all health personnel who came into contact with them practiced stringent measures." San Lazaro Hospital is implementing rigorous infection control protocols while caring for the two patients, Duque said.

Of the 31 recorded persons under investigation, 24 of them tested negative, two tested positive while the remaining ones are still being tested, Duque added.

Health officials' next steps

The department's epidemiology bureau has secured the manifestos of the flights the victims were on and is in close coordination with the concerned airlines. Passengers on the same flight are being contacted and instructed to take precaution and further tests.

The two novel coronavirus patients reportedly traveled to Cebu and Dumaguete before going to Manila, although the department earlier said they were only in Cebu for hours.

The female patient, before testing positive for the virus, was also observed to be asymptomatic or displaying no symptoms.

Commenting on how the department will handle the remains of the first fatal case, Duque said it is being prepared for cremation. The Chinese embassy is also working with the DOH "to ensure the dignified management of the remains according to national and international standards to contain the disease."

The measures the DOH is undertaking have been evolving as days pass. "This health event is fast-evolving and fluid. We are continuously recalibrating our plans and efforts as the situation develops," Duque said.

He also urged the public to refrain from sharing unverified information, guaranteeing that health agencies will release constant updates.

While there are no reports that the new virus has spread in communities, presidential palace Macalañang declared on Sunday the temporary ban of all incoming travelers from the whole of China, Hong Kong and Macau, with the exception of Filipino passport holders.

2019 NCOV NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: May 29, 2020 - 9:37pm

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

May 29, 2020 - 9:37pm

The Department of Health reports 1,046 new cases of the coronavirus disease, the highest surge in a day in the Philippines. This brings the national tally to 16,634.

The agency says there are 122 recoveries and 21 new fatalities. 

May 29, 2020 - 5:39pm

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire says that out of the 539 new cases reported Thursday, only 109 were "fresh cases" or those confirmed in the last three days.

The remaining were reported infections from last week.

May 29, 2020 - 9:03am

The United States records 1,297 coronavirus deaths on Thursday, bringing its total to 101,573 since the global pandemic began, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The country has also officially logged 1,720,613 cases of the virus, far more than any other nation, the tracker kept by the Baltimore-based university showed at 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Friday). — AFP

May 29, 2020 - 7:17am

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 357,311 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Thursday. 

At least 5,747,100 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 2,296,900 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

May 28, 2020 - 4:08pm

The Department of Health reports 539 new cases of the coronavirus disease, the highest in a single day, taking the national tally to 15,588.

There are 92 new recoveries and 17 new fatalities, the health department adds.

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