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First confirmed nCoV death outside China is in Philippines
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: April 13, 2021 - 12:47pm

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

April 13, 2021 - 12:47pm

The English variant of the novel coronavirus does not increase the severity of COVIDompared to other strains, according to research published Tuesday that also confirmed its increased transmissibility. 

The variant, known as B117, is now the dominant viral strain across much of Europe, and previous studies had shown it was linked to a higher likelihood of death than normal variants. — AFP

April 7, 2021 - 6:09pm

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state Gujarat becomes the latest to tighten coronavirus curbs as India's infections surge to a record of almost 116,000 new cases in 24 hours.

Experts blame the country's fresh wave on people ignoring guidelines and attending huge religious and political events, as well as weddings and cricket matches in recent months.

India has now recorded 12.8 million cases, the third-highest behind the United States and Brazil, although those nations have much smaller populations. More than 166,000 Indians have died. — AFP

April 7, 2021 - 9:24am

Brazil registers more than 4,000 Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours for the first time Tuesday, the health ministry says, as the country reeled from a surge of infections that has made it the current epicenter of the pandemic.

The coronavirus claimed 4,195 lives in the deadliest day of the pandemic yet for the hard-hit country, whose total reported death toll is now nearly 337,000, second only to the United States.

Brazil's health system is buckling under the strain of the latest virus wave, which has forced doctors into agonizing decisions over which patients to give life-saving care and led cemeteries to hold nighttime burials to deal with the crush of coffins. —  AFP

April 4, 2021 - 9:17am

Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez, who has been vaccinated against Covid-19, announced late Friday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

"At the end of today, after presenting a fever of 37.3 (99 Fahrenheit) and a slight headache, I performed an antigen test, which was positive," he tweeted.

A PCR test later confirmed the diagnosis.

The president, who turned 62 on Friday, was in isolation as a precaution but said he was "physically well."

"Although I would have liked to end my birthday without this news, I am also in good spirits," he said. — AFP

April 3, 2021 - 1:03pm

Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez, who has been vaccinated against COVID-19, announces that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

"At the end of today, after presenting a fever of 37.3 and a slight headache, I performed an antigen test, which was positive," he tweets, adding he was waiting for the results of a PCR test to confirm the diagnosis. — AFP

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