DOH monitors child from Wuhan, China who manifested flu-like symptoms

Robie de Guzman   •   January 21, 2020   •   765

Medical staff transfer patients to Jinyintan hospital where patients infected with a new strain of Coronavirus identified as the cause of the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak are treated in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, 20 January 2020. EPA-EFE/STRINGER

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said it is monitoring the case of a five-year old boy with a history of travel to Wuhan, China for manifesting flu-like symptoms.

The child, who arrived in Cebu with his mother on January 12, was admitted in a hospital in Central Visayas after he manifested symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever, throat irritation and cough prior to entering the Philippines.

The DOH said the young boy is now in stable condition but still had cough.

Based on samples examined by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), the unnamed child tested negative for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Both diseases are caused by a family of viruses called coronavirus.

But he tested positive for a non-specific pancoronavirus assay, meaning that he is infected with a strain of coronavirus. The sample has been sent to a laboratory in Australia for further testing.

The DOH said the child will remain “a person under investigation” until they could get confirmatory results.

The Bureau of Quarantine is carrying out tracing of air passengers who may have come in contact with the boy during transit.

“We are reminding the airlines that the universal protective kit should be available anytime on board, the passenger locator card, the protocol on handling cases on board and of course reporting of cases on board to the ground crew,” Bureau of Quarantine director, Dr. Ferdinand Salcedo said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said novel coronavirus causes respiratory infections which may develop into severe cases such as pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death if left untreated.

Coronavirus, which is a large group of viruses common among animals, may be transmitted through contact with an infected person.

“We are not sure of the source of the virus whether it came from animal or meat and other source. We believe that maybe human-to-human transmission,” WHO Country Representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe said.

The DOH said they are also monitoring three other individuals who manifested flu-like symptoms upon their arrival at the Kalibo International Airport.

The agency said all three travelers, reportedly Chinese nationals, are currently well and are no longer exhibiting any symptoms.

All hospitals and medical facilities in the country have been alerted about cases of coronavirus.

The WHO said there are 222 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus – majority of them are from China while others were from Thailand, Japan and South Korea.

The new strain of coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

The DOH advised the public to always practice frequent handwashing, avoid crowded places and contact with infected person and to thoroughly cook food, especially meat and dairy products. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

Brazil’s Bolsonaro confirms postive coronavirus diagnosis

UNTV News   •   July 8, 2020

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday (July 7) he tested positive for the novel coronavirus, adding in a television interview that he was in good health despite running a fever.

The right-wing populist, who has played down the severity of the virus which he has called a “little flu,” took the test on Monday after developing symptoms.

In the interview broadcast on state-run TV Brasil, Bolsonaro said he began feeling ill on Sunday (July 5) and has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug with unproven effectiveness against COVID-19.

“It started on Sunday (July 5) with a certain feeling of unwell that worsened during the day on Monday (July 6), with malaise, tiredness, a bit of muscle pain and a fever that reached 38 degrees in the late afternoon. I then thought that with these symptoms, and with the presidency’s medic (believing it to be) a possible COVID-19 infection, I did a CT scan at the armed forces hospital here in Brasilia. And the lungs were clear,” Bolsonaro said.

Brazil has the world’s second-largest outbreak behind the United States. Latin America’s largest country has more than 1.6 million confirmed cases and 65,000 COVID-19 deaths.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly defied local guidelines to wear a mask in public, even after a judge ordered him to do so in late June. Bolsonaro has also railed against social distancing rules supported by the World Health Organization.

Over the weekend, Bolsonaro attended several events and was in close contact with U.S. Ambassador Todd Chapman during July 4 celebrations. Pictures showed neither wearing a mask.

The U.S. Embassy in Brasilia said via Twitter on Monday (July 6) that the ambassador had lunch on July 4 with Bolsonaro, five ministers and the president’s son, Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro. The ambassador had no symptoms, but would undergo testing and is “taking precautions,” the embassy said. (REUTERS)

6 lugar na may mataas na kaso ng COVID-19, patuloy na binabantayan – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   July 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Anim na lugar sa bansa ang patuloy ngayong binabantayan ng Department of Health dahil sa patuloy na pagtaas ng kaso ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Ayon kay Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, kabilang sa mga ito ang Manila at Quezon City sa Metro Manila. Apat naman ang binabantayan sa Central Visayas – ang Cebu Province, Cebu City, Mandaue at Lapu Lapu City.

“These are the top 6 na tinitingnan natin for this past week, nakakapagtala tayo ng maraming kaso. But of course, there are other areas that we are strictly monitoring because walang kaso tapos nagkaroon,” ani Vergeire.

“Sa Cebu City we have 64 Barangays na found to have clusters, sa Nationl Capital Region we have 314 barangays reported to have these clusters of cases,” dagdag pa niya.

Tinukoy rin ng health official ang ilang uri ng pampublikong transportasyon sa Metro Manila kung saan malaki ang tiyansa na magkaroon ng hawaan ng sakit dahil sa closed setting nito.

“We also have identified three closed settings dito sa National Capital Region, kasama na diyan iyon ang MRT na binabantayan natin sa ngayon,” ani Vergeire.

“Iyon pa rin, the basic rule in a quarantine, kahit anong level pa ng quarantine… Ang basic principle natin naka-quarantine tayo so kung wala kang kailangan gawin sa labas, wag kang lumabas ng bahay. You stay at home,” dagdag pa niya. “Second would be hindi dapat tayo dapat nagtravel beyond sa puntahan natin, dont go to areas with identified community transmission.”

Ayon sa DOH, ang patuloy na pagtaas ng kaso ay posibleng bunsod ng madalas na pagkakaroon ng physical contact kasunod ng pagluwag ng ipinatutupad na quarantine measures sa bansa.

Sa kasalukuyan, mayroon nang kabuuang 46,333 COVID-19 cases sa bansa. Batay sa pinakahuling ulat ng DOH, 32,845 sa mga ito ang aktibong kaso, 12,185 naman ang naka-recover samantalang nasa 1,303 ang bilang ng nasawi mula sa nakakahawang sakit. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

China warns of consequences if UK offers residency to HK citizens

UNTV News   •   July 2, 2020

China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday (July 2) that Britain would bear all consequences for any move it took to offer Hong Kong citizens a path to settlement in the UK.

China reserved the right to act against Britain over the issue, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a daily briefing, without specifying what countermeasures Beijing might take.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday (July 1) that China’s imposition of a security law on Hong Kong was a “clear and serious” violation of the 1984 Joint Declaration and that Britain would offer around 3 million residents of the former colony a path to British citizenship. (Reuters)

(Production: Joseph Campbell, Wang Shubing)

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