This handout photo from Department of Foreign Affairs shows Filipino workers repatriated from central Chinese city of Wuhan inside a plane.
Department of Foreign Affairs, Handout
Filipinos repatriated from virus epicenter show no symptoms of nCoV
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - February 10, 2020 - 10:37am

MANILA, Philippines — All Filipinos repatriated from the ground zero of the deadly novel coronavirus were “healthy,” the Department of Health said Monday, following safety concerns on the facility used as quarantine zone.

DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo said none of the 32 Filipinos flown home from China’s Hubei province exhibited symptoms of 2019-nCoV since their arrival in the Philippines Sunday morning.

“‘Yung lahat ng pumunta sa airport wala silang tinurn away na kahit isang Filipino dahil lahat ng dumating ay malusog, walang lagnat, Domingo said in an interview on radio dzMM Monday. 

(No Filipino was turned away in [Wuhan] airport because all repatriates were healthy, they have no fever.)

He added: “During the flight na tatlong oras, chini-check sila walang na-develop na kahit anong symptoms hanggang makababa sila dito sa Clark.”

(They were checked during the three-hour flight. No one developed any symptoms until they arrived at Clark International Airport.)

The repatriates were transferred to the Athlete’s Village in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac for a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

“In the past 24 hours, wala pa pong nire-report sa atin na nagkaroon ng sakit,” Domingo said.

The Health official said medical personnel will be deployed to allay the fears of communities surrounding New Clark City.

Capas Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan earlier lamented that the DOH did not involve the local government in its decision to use New Clark City as a quarantine zone for evacuees.

DOH and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, which has jurisdiction over NCC, stressed that necessary measures were put in place to ensure the adjacent communities of NCC are kept safe.

The death toll from the novel coronavirus reached 900 in mainland China, overtaking global fatalities in the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic.

The Philippines confirmed three cases, including one death—the first fatality outside mainland China. 

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: February 21, 2020 - 6:35pm

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

February 21, 2020 - 6:35pm

Iran says two more deaths among 13 new cases of coronavirus.

February 21, 2020 - 4:48pm

Chinese wrestlers gunning for a place at this summer's Tokyo Olympics are training in quarantine in Serbia after a qualifying event was moved from China to Kyrgyzstan because of the coronavirus.

The Chinese athletes "are going through an extensive quarantine process" in the Serbian capital Belgrade and will then fly to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, for the Asian Olympic qualifier on March 27-29, United World Wrestling (UWW) says. — AFP

February 21, 2020 - 1:18pm

Iran has confirmed three new coronavirus cases following the deaths of two elderly men, the health ministry says, as Iraq banned travel to and from its neighbour.

The pair who died were elderly Iranian citizens and residents of the city of Qom. They were the first confirmed deaths from the COVID-19 virus in the Middle East. — AFP

February 21, 2020 - 11:02am

Health officials say two Australians who have been diagnosed with coronavirus after being evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship had earlier tested negative in Japan.

Department of health officials say that all 164 Australians who were returned home earlier this week "were tested for COVID-19 in Japan and returned negative results".

Officials stress that the development of some positive cases among cleared evacuees was "not unexpected", given the continued spread of the disease onboard after testing began. — AFP

February 21, 2020 - 8:14am

Two Australians evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for coronavirus, authorities says, raising questions about Japan's policy of allowing evacuees from the ship to move freely after testing negative for the disease. 

"We have two people who are positive for the COVID-19 virus. Those two people have mild illness," says Dianne Stephens, acting chief health officer for the Northern Territories.

Some 164 Australians aboard the Diamond Princess were cleared for transfer from the ship to quarantine in Australia's remote north. — AFP

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