DOH clarifies: only 2 recovered so far from COVID-19, 5 on home quarantine

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 15 2020 01:35 PM | Updated as of Mar 15 2020 06:31 PM

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MANILA (UPDATE) - The Department of Health clarified on Sunday afternoon that there are only 2 patients who have fully recovered from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

This was after Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a Sunday morning interview that five patients have already recovered from COVID-19.

"Ang alam ko, lima (From what I know, 5)," Duque answered after being asked about this on DZMM. 

In a later interview this afternoon, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire clarified that there are only 2 patients who have recovered so far - the two Chinese nationals who tested positive in early February and went back to China.

"Ang nakarecover na po sa sakit na ito mula sa datos natin ay 2, yung Chinese nationals," she explained.

(Based on our data, only 2 have recovered, these are the Chinese nationals.)

She also added that the 5 patients who have reportedly recovered are actually in home quarantine because they exhibit mild symptoms.

"Sa tracker ay 5 who are on home quarantine. Sila ho ay positibo sa kaso at sila po ay walang sintomas o kaya yung iba ay mild ang sintomas nila," Vergeire said.

(On the tracker, there are 5 who are on home quarantine. They are positive cases and they have no symptoms or just mild symptoms.)

"They have not recovered yet but they are at home doing home quarantine," she added.

According to Vergeire, those with mild symptoms are actually advised to undergo home quarantine so as to protect them from further infection.

"Pinoprotektahan pa nga ho namin sila kasi ho kapag nanatili sila sa ospital, mas malaki pa yung tsansiya na magkaroon pa, magdevelop pa ng kumplikasyon," she said.

(We are even protecting them because if they stay in the hospital, there's a bigger chance that they may develop complications.)

Vergeire said that as of Sunday afternoon, 6 patients have been instructed to go on home quarantine.

She also assured the public that thorough assessment are made before the patients were instructed to go on home quarantine.

The country has recorded, as of Sunday, 140 cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), including 11 fatalities.

In an earlier interview on radio DZMM, Duque said the agency is awaiting test results of 72 other individuals, while 638 have tested negative for the virus.

"Matagal talaga ang recovery period. Sa mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 infection, (recovery) is anywhere from 2-3 weeks. Yung critical aabutin lampas ng 1 buwan, 3-6 weeks. So hindi madali," he told radio DZMM.

(The recovery period is long. In mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 infection, recovery is anywhere from 2-3 weeks. Those in critical condition may take over a month, 3-6 weeks. So it's not easy.)

(Recovery period takes time. In mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 infection, the recovery period is anywhere from 2-3 weeks. Patients in critical condition take more than a month, around 3-6 weeks. It's not easy.)

Among those who recovered were the two Chinese tourists tagged as Case Nos. 1 and 3. Both have returned to China.

The number of persons suspected of carrying the virus will continue to climb due to government's tracing of those who interacted with patients infected with COVID-19, Duque said.