Child who tested positive for coronavirus shows 'good sign of recovery': DOH


Posted at Jan 22 2020 03:27 PM

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MANILA - The child from China who tested positive for a non-specific coronavirus while in the Philippines is showing good signs of recovery, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said Wednesday.

"The patient is no longer feverish and (has) less coughing and so this is a good sign of recovery but what really puzzles us is the mother did not seem to develop any symptoms whatsoever," he told ANC's Dateline Philippines.

"Just the same, the mother is also hygienated and throat swab was done and blood samples were taken."

The 5-year-old from the central Chinese city of Wuhan arrived in Cebu City last Jan. 12 and tested positive for "non-specific pancoronavirus," the Department of Health said Tuesday.

Specimen from the patient in Cebu City was sent to specialists in Australia to identify which coronavirus strain he carried, Duque said.

It was still on its way to Australia as of Wednesday noon and the result will be released within 24 hours of receipt, he added.

Meanwhile, 3 Chinese tourists who had flu-like symptoms when they landed at the Kalibo airport in Aklan do not fit the World Health Organization's (WHO) case definition of the new coronavirus, Duque said.

"They were sent home but not without getting throat swabbed and blood specimen for the testing," he said.

The Philippines has started screening passengers arriving at the capital's main airport for fever and flu symptoms, after a new strain of coronavirus was recently discovered in Wuhan, China and has claimed the lives of at least 9 people and sickened hundreds.

The agency is in "constant communication" with the WHO and will abide by its guidelines on the new coronavirus, Duque said.

The DOH currently has "adequate supplies" to address the new strain of virus, Duque said as he noted that the agency is dealing with Taal Volcano evacuees, where some 3,000 cases of illness have been reported.

Most of these were upper respiratory infections, flu, diarrhea, hypertension, and eye irritation, Duque said.