24 under investigation for novel coronavirus — DOH
MANILA, Philippines — A total of 24 persons under investigation (PUIs) are suspected to have the 2019 Novel (new) Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, the Department of Health said on Tuesday afternoon.
As of 1:30 p.m on Tuesday, an additional five PUIs brought the count to 27, Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said in a press briefing.
However, three patients investigated have since been discharged, bringing the official tally down to 24.
“27 pero 3 na discharge na so 24 ang admitted pa (There were 27 PUIs but three were discharged so 24 are still admitted),” Domingo confirmed in a text to Philstar.com.
All of the PUIs have a travel history to Wuhan in China, the ground zero of the newly discovered strain of coronavirus.
None of them are Filipinos and most are Chinese nationals.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III reiterated that there are still no confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in the Philippines.
The health department is still waiting for the test results for 13 PUIs from the local Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, as well as six confirmatory results from an Australia-based laboratory.
WHO Representative in the Philippines physician Rabindra Abeyasinghe said based on the latest update from Chinese authorities, there have been 4,515 confirmed cases of the virus in China, with at least 106 deaths.
The mortality rate so far is less than 3%, which is comparatively lower than coronavirus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, which had an estimated 10% rate of death by the end of its outbreak in 2003.
A total of 37 cases have also been confirmed in 11 countries outside of China, namely Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, the United States, Canada and France.
Meanwhile, Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Bridigo Dulay said Filipinos residing in Wuhan who wish to be repatriated can return to the Philippines under quarantine for two weeks.