3 repatriates at New Clark City experience sore throat, cough

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 27 2020 11:24 PM | Updated as of Feb 28 2020 01:12 AM

MANILA (UPDATE)— Three repatriates from the Diamond Princess cruise ship are showing signs and symptoms of illness, the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday.

“Yung mga repatriates natin sa New Clark City, base sa nakalap na report, meron tayong 3 repatriates na nagpakita ng sintomas,” said Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire during an interview with DZMM. “Two may sore throat, 1 may nonproductive cough. Dinala natin sa referral facility natin.”

The three were brought to a nearby hospital while Secretary Francisco Duque III was quoted earlier that their samples were already sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

Another source from DOH said none of them had fever.

Vergeire clarified that it is not confirmed yet if the repatriates have COVID-19.

“Ang COVID is a viral infection. Pwede siya mag-mimic ng ibang sintomas ng viral infections din. We are not specifying na COVID talaga,” she said.

She said it will take 24 to 48 hours to get the test results.

The three are part of the more than 400 Filipino repatriates who were flown into the country last Tuesday after hundreds of people onboard their cruise ship tested positive for COVID-19.

The group is staying at the New Clark City for a 14-day quarantine period.

Only those who tested negative for COVID-19 were allowed to return to the Philippines and join the group for quarantine but people can still develop symptoms, although more unlikely, beyond the 14-day incubation period.