PH has 'no confirmed' cases of new coronavirus: health official

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 24 2020 03:27 PM

Passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 pass in front of a thermal imaging machine used to look for possible signs of illness on January 23, 2020, as the country raises the alert to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus originating from Wuhan, China. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Philippines does not have a confirmed case of the new coronavirus, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.

This amid monitoring of a 36-year-old male who arrived in Tacloban City from Wuhan, while a 5-year-old boy in Cebu who came from the central Chinese city remains to be a probable case, according to Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo.

"Wala pang lumalabas na case ng novel coronavirus (nCoV) 2019. Categorically we have no confirmed 2019 nCoV in the Philippines," Domingo told reporters.

The child in Cebu had tested positive for a non-specific coronavirus, prompting authorities to send his specimen to Australia to identify which strain he carried. Results are expected to be released by Tuesday, Domingo said.

Health officials earlier cleared from the illness 3 Chinese tourists with influenza-like symptoms who arrived at the Kalibo International Airport.

A flight attendant at the airport also placed herself in "self-quarantine" after exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus.

A child from Nanjing, China who also arrived in Aklan with fever, meanwhile, is under observation, according to the province's health officer.

The Bureau of Immigration also tracked down 4 Chinese tourists who arrived in Manila following exposure to a man who tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The Philippines has since halted flights to and from Wuhan, home to 11 million people, and implemented tighter screening for fever and flu symptoms.

Beijing has also locked down Wuhan and surrounding cities following the outbreak of the new strain of the virus, which has so far claimed at least 25 lives since its emergence last month.

The illness has been reported in Beijing, Shanghai, Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and has reached other countries like Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.

--With reports from Raphael Bosano, ABS-CBN News