Duque: Fight vs coronavirus begins with proper hygiene

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2020 10:10 PM

A rescue worker in Incheon, South Korea, on Monday walks past a notice about a new coronavirus that has broken out in China. The notice was at a hospital where a woman arriving from Wuhan, China, with the new coronavirus has been isolated. Yonhap via Reuters

MANILA—To avoid catching coronavirus, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Tuesday said people can begin by keeping themselves clean.

"Walang gamot, walang bakuna pero hinihikayat [ko] lahat ang [pag-aaruga] ng personal hygiene," Duque told radio DZMM.

He also advised the public to wash their hands and avoid crowded places.

"Kapag umubo, bumahing, pwede gamiting 'yung panyo o siko," Duque added, saying that people who work long hours must get enough rest and eat vitamin-rich food.

On Tuesday, the health department said a child from the Chinese city of Wuhan tested positive for coronavirus, or the 2019-COV, after arriving in Cebu on Jan. 12.

Samples from the boy, who experienced fever, throat irritation and coughing, tested negative for MERS-COV and SARS, but the result for "non-specific pancoronavirus" test returned positive, Duque said.

Pancoronavirus is a test that detects any coronavirus, but cannot identify the particular strain, health undersecretary Eric Domingo said in a text message to ABS-CBN News. 

The coronavirus has spread around China and three other Asian countries since first emerging in Wuhan.

To date 59 people have been infected, of whom seven are in serious condition, according to an official toll. — With a report from Agence France-Presse