MANILA (4th UPDATE) — Quezon City and Marikina each have one case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), both among the 10 total cases nationwide that the health department reported on Sunday.
Quezon City's COVID-19 case is a resident of its first district and has been isolated at a hospital, Mayor Joy Belmonte said, quoting information from the Department of Health.
The Quezon City patient is among the 10 COVID-19 cases that the DOH confirmed so far, said Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
The city government will tackle this development later Monday, said Belmonte. She urged her constituents to refrain from panicking and consult a doctor if they feel unwell.
Meanwhile, Marikina's COVID-19 patient is an 86-year old man who recently traveled to South Korea, said the city's Public Information Office.
The patient is also among the 10 confirmed cases, said the PIO.
Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro, in a video shared by the Philippine Star, said he ordered containment measures and contact tracing of those who interacted with the patient. The local government has suspended classes in all levels in Marikina until Wednesday, March 11.
LGUs ALLOWED TO DISCLOSE COVID-19 CASES?
The DOH gives press releases to local governments and hospitals concerned with confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, said Vergeire.
"Kung sakali hong gusto nilang magpa-press conference (if they ever want to hold a press conference), they are allowed to do so and they can read or base their presscon on the PR that we have," she told DZMM.
DOH press releases are issued after Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has announced new cases, she said.
"Iyon po ang hudyat na puwede na puwede na rin hong magsabi ang ating local government o ating mga ospital," said Vergeire.
(That's the signal that our local government or hospitals can also release information.)
Cities and hospitals that announce COVID-19 cases might benefit from easier contact tracing, with the public more willing to share information on their interaction with patients, said Vergeire. However, the public could also panic and areas with novel coronavirus cases might face stigma, she said.
The Philippines is preparing measures to prevent the community spread of the coronavirus, health officials said Monday.
The Department of Health confirmed Sunday 4 new cases of the COVID-19, bringing the Philippines' total to 10.
The DOH said samples from all the new confirmed cases were tested on March 7, and all results were released March 8.
- With reports from Raya Capulong and Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News