DOH: 11 patients under investigation for suspected novel coronavirus
Aileen Cerrudo • January 27, 2020 • 383
The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed that 11 patients are under investigation for suspected novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the Philippines.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the 11 patients under investigation have a history of travel to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the virus.
Based on the DOH, two of the 11 patients are in Metro Manila, one in MIMAROPA, three in Western Visayas, one in Eastern Visayas, three in Central Visayas and one in Northern Mindanao.
Duque said all the patients under investigation are being closely monitored. He also reiterated that there are still zero confirmed nCoV cases in the Philippines.
“There shouldn’t be any cause for alarm. Just because we flashed the areas where the PUIs come from, it doesn’t mean those areas are infected with the novel coronavirus, because there’s none. We keep harping the fact that there is none—still zero as of today,” he said.
DOH Epidemiology Bureau officer-in-charge Chito Avelino said the five-year-old patient in Cebu has already been discharged, while the others are already in the process of being released.
The DOH also reminds the public to practice good hygiene to prevent the risk of infection from any virus.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
As the whole world is struggling to fight the coronavirus pandemic, one of the unexpected outcomes for Chinese people is more clean skies.
China had a significant decrease in nitrogen dioxide pollution in cities like Beijing during February, when factories and streets were closed as authorities attempted to stop the spread of the virus, according to the European Space Agency (ESA) Copernicus satellite image.
Analysis by Greenpeace shows that the pollutant emissions in Beijing and its surrounding areas dropped by more than 40% year-on-year in February.
Compared to previous years, the air in the capital has seen a big improvement during the outbreak. Streets and landmarks are no longer covered in smog.
Beijing resident Liu Chuan takes this as a potential health benefit, saying that he could even see stars at night after work.
“It feels like the air is overall much less polluted than it used to be. It also improves people’s mood, and indirectly strengthens the immunity. It’s good for fighting the virus,” added Liu.
However, expert warns the air pollution and carbon emissions may soon reappear as Chinese factories are ramping up output in an effort to offset the economic hit of coronavirus.
“We can’t rule out the possibility that it may cause air pollution frequently if a large scale of high-polluting industries resume production,” said Lyn Liu, a Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner. (Reuters)
China’s foreign ministry is advising foreign diplomats to stop coming to Beijing, after the country temporarily banned most foreigners from entering to prevent a resurgence of a coronavirus epidemic, a spokeswoman said on Friday (April 3).
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters during a daily briefing that the ministry was aware of confirmed coronavirus cases among foreign diplomats in China.
Mainland China reported 31 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 29 of which were imported from overseas, the country’s National Health Commission said on Friday.
The total number of infections now stands at 81,620 and 3,322 deaths have been reported from mainland China to date. (Reuters)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has established a protocol requiring all healthcare workers to undergo tests for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) despite exhibiting mild symptoms.
According to the DOH, healthcare workers belong to the ‘vulnerable’ group whose conditions need primary attention.
Since the fight against COVID-19 started in January, a number of doctors, nurses, hospitals and laboratory staffers have fallen ill, some have died, due to exposure to COVID-19.
Based on DOH’s previous policy on COVID-19 testing, workers belonging to the ‘vulnerable population’ should be prioritized but that included only senior citizens or the elderly with pre-existing medical conditions and those who are showing severe symptoms of the disease.
But following review of the policy on Tuesday (March 31), the DOH decided to include the healthcare workers to the vulnerable group.
“Kapag nagpunta sa isang health facility ang ating mga healthcare workers, dahil sila ay may sintomas o sila ay na- expose, kailangan po silang asikasuhin [Healthcare workers should be attended to once they show symptoms (of COVID-19) due to their exposure to the virus in a health facility where they work],” noted DOH Spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
“Kailangan po silang i- test ng ating mga heathcare workers [We should test our healthcare workers],” she added.
The DOH is still collating information about healthcare workers or medical professionals across the country who have been affected by COVID-19.
Medical professionals who contracted the disease in line of duty will receive P100,000 insurance package each.
Meanwhile, relatives of medical front-liners who succumbed to COVID-19 will get P1-M financial assistance from the national government. MNP (with inputs from Aiko Miguel)
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