DOH: No coronavirus in Philippines

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Friday, February 22, 2013

MANILA -- The Philippines is still free from the new coronavirus that has affected some residents in the United Kingdom (UK), an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona, in an interview, said: “Right now, there has been no reported case in the Philippines.”
Earlier, the DOH issued a directive to all hospitals in the country to report suspected cases of the new coronavirus following reports that the UK government confirmed its first human to human transmission of the SARS-like virus.

Patient samples may be sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for confirmatory testing, said Ona last Monday.

The DOH had also directed the Bureau of Quarantine to maintain the routine screening of in-bound passengers, regardless of country of origin, in ports of entry, for any signs of illness that may require temporary isolation in a health facility or at home.

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) has tallied 12 confirmed cases of human infection with NCoV, including six deaths.

Ona advises the public to frequently wash their hands, observe cough etiquette, and keep a social distance to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. (HDT/Sunnex)

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