People wearing face masks walk past the main gates of the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila on February 2, 2020.
AFP/Maria Tan
DOH: Half of suspected COVID-19 patients test negative for illness
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - February 12, 2020 - 4:02pm

MANILA, Philippines — Half of the suspected coronavirus disease patients in the Philippines have tested negative for the illness, the latest figure from the Department of Health showed.

Out of the 408 patients under investigation, 208 tested negative for COVID-19, while 197 were still waiting for laboratory results as of Wednesday afternoon.

The World Health Organization announced Wednesday night that the novel coronavirus previously called 2019-nCoV is now officially called COVID-19, for Coronavirus Disease 2019.

“‘Yung iba for discharge na once wala nang sakit,” Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said.

(The others are due for discharged once they recover.)

DOH also said that 238 under watch for possible COVID-19 infection remain admitted in various hospitals, while 165 individuals have already been discharged.

The overall figure also includes the Philippines’ first three confirmed cases—including the first fatality outside mainland China—and the other two individuals who died due to other causes.

Here are the nationalities of the PUIs in the country:

  • 240 Filipinos
  • 98 Chinese
  • 18 Americans
  • 4 Finnish
  • 3 German
  • 1 Brazilian, British, French, Indian, Italian, South Korean, Japanese, New Zealander, Dutch, and Taiwanese

The coronavirus disease that emerged in China at the end of 2019 has killed over 1,100 and infected 44,600 in the country.

It has spread to nearly 30 countries, with the World Health Organization warning that the virus was a “very grave threat.”


The DOH said it also keeps track of persons under monitoring, which are different from PUIs.

Ferchito Avelino, DOH Epidemiology Bureau head, said PUMs “have no signs and symptoms” but have travelled in areas included in the government’s travel ban: China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

There were 413 PUMs as of Tuesday.

If PUMs develop symptoms during the 14-day quarantine period, they will be classified as PUIs.

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