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‘Not a death sentence’: Health official says 98% of coronavirus patients get better

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MANILA (Philippine Star) — Most of the people infected with the novel coronavirus or nCoV will recover from the disease, a Department of Health official said Thursday.

Passengers stand outside airline offices as they check their flights at the international airport in Manila, the Philippines on Tuesday.  AP

Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said 98 percent of the individuals affected by the illness that has killed 560 people in China will recover.

“The infectious disease doctors are willing to admit these patients and treat them because 98 percent of these patients will get better,” Domingo said in an interview on the ABS-CBN News Channel.

He added: “It’s not a death sentence. Even if you are diagnosed to have it, there’s a 98 percent probability that you will recover completely.”

Experts suggest that the case fatality rate is only 2 percent.

Latest data from the DOH showed that 133 persons are currently under watch for possible nCoV infection.

The agency confirmed Wednesday the third case of nCoV in the Philippines — a 60-year-old woman, who has since returned to China.

The Philippines reported its first fatality over the weekend — the first death out of virus epicenter China.

Domingo reminded those who are not sick and who did not come in contact with the three confirmed cases not to wear masks.

“Now if you have a weakened immune system, elderly and you’re battling cancer, wear a mask. It will protect you not only from nCoV but other diseases but you also have to wash your hands,” the Health official said.

The new coronavirus has spread to more than 20 countries, with the confirmed infections in China rising to over 28,000.

The administration declared on Sunday, February 2, a temporary ban of all incoming travelers from the whole of China, Hong Kong and Macau, with the exception of Filipino passport holders.

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