COVID19 Rise to 20 Confirmed Cases in Philippines; Greenhills Mall Now a Ghost Town on Mall Hours

DOH announces 10 new coronavirus cases; PH total now at 20

The Department of Health on Monday announced that there are now 10 additional COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.

This brings the total of COVID-19 cases in the country to 20.

“All test results from the new cases were released today after samples were collected from March 6, 7 and 8,” said Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

She told reporters that contact tracing has already started.

Of the initially reported new cases (4th to 10th case), 468 contacts were identified and 113 were already assessed.

Before the new cases were announced, there were 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Half of them are Filipino while the rest are foreign nationals who traveled to another country with cases of the new coronavirus or were in contact with infected people. There is at least one case of local transmission.


COVID-19 cases in Philippines rise to 10 as DOH confirms 4 new patients

The Department of Health confirmed four additional cases of the novel coronavirus disease, namely two Filipinos and two foreign nationals who are being treated in undisclosed private hospitals.

The report released shortly before midnight on Monday brings the confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines to 10.

The samples of the confirmed cases were tested on Saturday, March 7 while the results were released on Sunday, March 8. More details about the cases are still being gathered but are further proof of a localized transmission or the spread of the deadly virus among Filipinos inside the country.

The health agency's confirmation of local transmission came nearly a month after the first case was reported.

"The DOH is committed to accurate and timely reporting of verified information on the COVID-19 health situation. We have been preparing for the possibility of localized transmission," the health department said in a statement.

The four new cases are as follows:

A 38-year-old Taiwanese man who did not recently travel outside the country. However, he was in contact with another Taiwanese national while in the Philippines who was later diagnosed with COVID-19 in Taiwan. His symptoms started manifesting on March 3.A 32-year-old Filipino man who returned from a trip to Japan within the last 14 days. The onset of his symptoms was on March 5.An 86-year-old American man who traveled to the United States and South Korea. He has preexisting hypertension. His symptoms began on March 1.A 57-year-old Filipino man who was reported to have had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the Philippines. He has no history of travel.

The DOH is documenting the 57-year-old Filipino patient's recent activities to determine how he was exposed to the virus and whether there were those he could have infected.

Senators have called for a more efficient reporting system and procedures by the DOH as the country deals with the public health emergency.

Sen Panfilo Lacson suspects that health authorities could be underreporting the numbers. Minority Floor Leader Sen. Franklin Drilon, meanwhile, found the DOH's detection and reporting of new cases slow and inadequate.


LOOK: Greenhills shopping center a ghost town

The Greenhills shopping center in San Juan City looks like a ghost town on Friday night, hours after the health department announced that a 62-year-old man who frequented the mall tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was suffering from severe pneumonia.

The patient has no history of travel outside the Philippines. He also suffers from hypertension and diabetes.

Right side of the top-view composite image is Annapolis Street, Greenhills. The street going to the shopping center is usually busy on Friday nights.

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora has instructed health workers to disinfect the prayer hall in Barangay Greenhills frequented by the man who health authorities said might be the Philippines' first local case of COVID-19.


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