THE Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) denied reports, which has been circulating online, on a patient allegedly positive of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) even as 11 foreign nationals have been under investigation for the deadly virus.
SPMC chief of Clinics and Health Emergency Management Bureau (HEMB) coordinator Dr. Ricardo Audan said Monday, January 27, that there was no truth to online posts that 2019-nCoV has entered the city.
“Stop spreading fake news on coronavirus. It makes our jobs harder,” Audan said.
He advised the public to get their information from legitimate sources and to be responsible for what they post or share online.
“Get good info and take good care of your health,” he added.
Health authorities advised the public to observe a healthy lifestyle, practice proper hand washing, do regular exercise, eat the right food, and avoid crowded places to prevent acquiring infectious diseases.
“To avoid this, I called up DOH 11 (Department of Health-Davao) regional director Dr. (Annabelle) Yumang. We talked and they will release DOH statement in social media regarding this fake news,” Audan said.
Meanwhile, 11 foreigners are under investigation for 2019-nCoV, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III confirmed on Monday, January 27. One of the patients, a five-year-old Chinese boy from Wuhan, was discharged from the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center Friday evening, January 24, shortly after he was cleared of the 2019-nCoV infection based on the laboratory test results from Victoria Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia.
Ten patients under investigation (PUI) are still confined in various hospitals across the country.
Of the 10, two are in Cebu City, three in Kalibo in Aklan, one in Tacloban City in Leyte, two in Metro Manila, one in Palawan, and one in Camiguin.
Duque said there is still no confirmed 2019-nCoV case in the Philippines and that no Filipinos have been under investigation for the infectious disease.
The PUIs are Chinese, Brazilian, American, and German nationals with history of travel to Wuhan City in China, ground zero for the 2019-nCoV outbreak. Duque declined to identify them to protect their privacy.
Laboratory test results for four patients, including the five-year-old boy in Cebu, have been released by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
Duque did not elaborate on the results, except that these were varied. The Department of Health (DOH) is still awaiting the test results for the seven other patients. (JCR with MVI/SunStar Philippines)