Duque appeals for cooperation as some PUIs refuse confinement
MANILA - The number of patients monitored in the Philippines for possible infection of the new coronavirus stood at 178 as of Thursday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.
Duque said 147 of the "patients under investigation" are admitted and under isolation, while 16 others have been discharged but remain under strict monitoring.
Ten others refused to be confined, prompting the health official to seek police help over said cases.
The cumulative tally includes the three Chinese patients confirmed to have contracted the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (one of whom died last Feb. 1), 48 who were found negative, and 127 whose test results remain pending.
The health department has explained that PUIs are those who are suffering from acute respiratory infection and may have fever and cough, and have recently either traveled to the Chinese city of Wuhan where the outbreak originated or come into close contact with a confirmed or probable case.
Lamenting over the refusal of some PUIs to be confined, Duque said, "I urge everyone, including our PUIs, to please cooperate... Ang DOH ay nagpupunyagi at nagpupursige para talagang ating mapigilan ang pagkalat nito. (The Department of Health is doing its best so we can really stop this from spreading)."
"We are coordinating with the (Philippine National Police) to compel these PUIs to agree to be confined and undergo isolation and testing," he added.
The confirmed cases in the Philippines include a 38-year-old woman, who is now asymptomatic but remains in confinement; a 44-year-old man who passed away, marking the first nCov-related death outside China; and, a 60-year-old woman, who has returned to China.
As of Thursday, more than 560 people have died from the 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease, while the number of people infected has already topped the 28,000-mark, both mostly in China.