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Philippines: 80 patients now under investigation for new coronavirus

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MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer) — Eighty individuals are now considered as persons under investigation or PUIs for suspected infection of the novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease or 2019-nCoV ARD, the Department of Health revealed Monday.

A family wearing protective masks crosses a street in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, the Philippines on Sunday.  AP

“We have 80 patients under investigation for nCoV acute respiratory disease,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a press briefing.

Of the 80 patients, health authorities said 67 were placed in isolation in hospitals while 10 have already been sent home as they were found to be negative for the deadly virus.

On January 30, DOH confirmed the country’s first case of the 2019-nCoV ARD — a Chinese woman, who came to the Philippines on January 21 and admitted to a hospital in Manila on January 25 for mild cough.

The 38-year-old Chinese tourist, who hails from the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, has already traveled to Cebu and Dumaguete in the central Philippines prior to seeking treatment for her mild cough in Manila.

Three days later or on February 2, DOH announced the country’s second case of the 2019-nCoV ARD — a Chinese man, apparently a companion of the Chinese woman, and disclosed that he died on February 1 from the virus, which mainly causes severe pneumonia. The death of the Chinese man, who likewise hailed from Wuhan, was the first death from 2019-nCoV in the Philippines and outside China.

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