DOH reports Chinese woman is third case of novel coronavirus
The Department of Health ( DOH) on Wednesday confirmed a Chinese woman was the third case of 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease in the country.
The 60-year-old woman was initially tested negative when she was admitted to a private hospital in Bohol on Jan 22. The woman recovered and was discharged on January 31 but the DOH said samples taken on Jan. 23 showed she was positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease.
Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo asssured that the Epidemiology Bureau (EB) has initiated contact-tracing of the persons who might have interacted or was in close proximity with the patient when she arrived and left the country.
Asked how is it possible that two samples taken just a day apart can have differing results, Domingo said it could be because she was "towards the end of the illness".
"The clinical explanation is that the patient was probably towards the end of the illness at that time that is why she was positive (in the January 23 sample) while the subsequent test (on January 24)was negative already," said Domingo.
"The DOH would like to confirm that a sample from a 60 year-old female Chinese patient under investigation (PUI) tested positive for the novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019 nCoV ARD)," Domingo said in a press conference.
She is the third confirmed nCoV ARD case in our country," he added.
The patient arrived in Cebu City from Wuhan, China via Hong Kong on January 20. The patient went to Bohol.
According to Domingo, the patient was admitted at a private hospital in Bohol in January 22 after experiencing fever and colds.
In January 23 and 24, several samples were taken from the patient to be tested by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia.
Domingo said separate test results from Australia which arrived in January 29 and from RITM in January 30 were both negative for the coronavirus. The said samples were batches taken in January 24.
"Upon recovery, the patient was discharged and allowed to go to China on January 31," he explained.
However, samples taken in January 23 came back positive for the novel coronavirus.
"In February 3, the DOH was notified by the RITM that earlier samples taken on January 23 were positive for the 2019 nCoV making her the third case," he said.
"The BOQ (Bureau of Quarantine) and EB are coordinating with the concerned airlines while Central Visayas Center for Health Development is in coordiantion with the hotel where the patient stayed and the hospital where she was confined," Domingo said.
"The DOH urge passegers from Cebu Pacific flight 5J241 from Hong Kong to Cebu both on January 20 and 21; Cebu Pacific flight BG6519 from Cebu to Dumaguete on January 21; and Philippien Airlines flight PR2542 from Dumaguete to Manila on January 25 to cooperate with DOH reperesentatives who will be in touch with them for assessment," he added.
Data from DOH bared that there are a total of 133 patients under investigation for the novel coronavirus.
About 115 are currently admitted in hospitals and isolated while 16 have been dischareged under strict monitoring.
Out of the 115 PUIs 63 are Filipinos, 54 are Chinese nationals, and 16 are of other nationalities. Domingo said 32 Chinese nationals that are under investigation in the country are from Wuhan where the virus originated.
DOH urged the public to remain calm and vigilant and to practice proper hygiene to avoid possibilities of getting infected by the disease. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS