CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 5 Feb) – The Department of Health today confirmed that a sample from a 60-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan tested positive of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), making her the third confirmed case of 2019nCoV Acute Respiratory Disease in the Philippines.
The DOH advisory said the patient arrived in Cebu City from Wuhan, China via Hong Kong last January 20 and traveled to Bohol.
The DOH said the patient consulted a private hospital in Bohol on January 22 after experiencing fever and coryza, commonly called as runny nose to laymen.
A sample taken from the patient last January 24 was tested at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory in Australia and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), the DOH said. Results from those tests reportedly came back as negative on January 29 and 30.
Upon the patient’s recovery, she was discharged from the hospital and allowed to return to China via Cebu on January 31.
But another sample from the same woman taken a day earlier, on January 23, tested positive. The RITM, however, informed the DOH of the positive result only on February 3, days after the woman was allowed to go home, said the health department’s press statement posted on its website.
“The Epidemiology Bureau (EB) has initiated contact tracing of persons who interacted with or were in close proximity to the patient,” the DOH said.
The Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) and EB, it added, are coordinating with the concerned airline while the Central Visayas Center for Health Development is in coordination with the hotel where the patient stayed and the hospital where she was admitted.
The country’s first two confirmed cases of infection with the 2019-nCoV were a couple also from Wuhan. They visited Dumaguete via Cebu, then went to Manila. The 44-year-old Chinese male died last Saturday, the first fatality in the Philippines and the first outside mainland China. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)