COVID-19: DOH reports 16 new cases; total now at 49

first_imgThe Philippines is currently under astate of public health emergency after it was placed under Code Red sublevel 1over the weekend, indicating at least one local transmission reported.  Based on the latest count from DOH,there were 33 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 30 patients admitted inhospitals mostly in Metro Manila.  DOH Assistant Secretary Ma. RosarioVergeire said Wednesday that 16 new cases were recorded from various hospitalsin Metro Manila. “What we have now is localizedtransmission in the areas we have earlier mentioned. But the situation can veryquickly progress into a community transmission, which means, there could be alarger area of affected communities,” Duque said during the hearing of theHouse Committee on Health on Wednesday. Passengers wearing protective masks wait at a terminal of the Metro Rail Transit in Quezon, Philippines, on March 10, 2020. EFE Health Secretary Francisco Duque III,meanwhile, said if ever the community-level transmission transpires, a lockdownin certain communities is imminent and a shift to a higher Code Red level. Duque also said that the government’simposition of a travel ban on mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau helped delaythe transmission of the virus. MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH)warned for a possible community-level transmission of coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19) in a short span of time as confirmed cases of the fatal disease haveincreased to 49. “I have said time and again that it’sgoing to be a very real occurrence over the very short term,” he added. “When evidence points to communitytransmission, we will resort first to a localized lockdown, rather than thewhole NCR locking down. We have to be careful on the implications of imposing ametro-wide lockdown,” Duque said. “We were among the countries that imposed absolute travel ban onpersons and nationals coming from China and its special administrative regions,Hong Kong and Macau,” Duque said. “The Inter-Agency Task Forcebelieves that this move helped delay by a month the entry of the COVID virus inlocal communities,” he added. While the DOH’s reporting system seemedproblematic, there was no deliberate intention” to keep from the publicnecessary information about the issue, Duque said. Community transmission occurs whencountries are already experiencing “larger outbreaks of localtransmission” of the disease, according to the World HealthOrganization.  The first three COVID-19 cases in thecountry are the Chinese visitors who earlier tested positive for the virus inthe Philippines – one of them died, while the remaining two have recovered andleft the country./PNlast_img

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