MANILA (UPDATE) - Marikina City has 4 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said Wednesday.
The patients are part of the country's 33 positive cases of the fast-spreading disease announced by health authorities on Tuesday.
Teodoro said the patients were infected by an 86-year-old American citizen, the country's 9th case of COVID-19.
Among those sickened is the American's 82-year-old wife and his 2 relatives, both 69. They were diagnosed with the disease on March 10.
The American citizen, a Filipino who served in the US military, returned from San Diego, California on Feb. 19 but had a layover in South Korea.
He then exhibited symptoms of pneumonia, including cough and shortness of breath, and was hospitalized on March 6. He tested positive of COVID-19 on March 9.
He is currently in critical condition due to his advanced age, Teodoro said.
"We suspect he's already infected with the disease while returning to the Philippines," the mayor added.
Four other household members, who are asymptomatic, are currently quarantined in their home in Marikina.
As authorities scramble to arrest the spread of the virus, Marikina City is mulling creating a quarantine facility with the supervision of the Department of Health (DOH), Teodoro said.
Those suspected of carrying the new strain of the coronavirus can only be confined at the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center, the city's only medical facility with isolation area.
The city government also plans to procure testing kits and continue disinfecting public places, such as terminals and shopping malls, Teodoro added.
Public activities, such as the Palarong Pambansa 2020, are also postponed due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Government employees and residents are also restricted from traveling to coronavirus-affected countries, such as China, South Korea and Italy.