Briones: ‘Epidemic’ update

On The Go

GO ahead. Gloat.

I know it’s downright morbid, but I’m pretty sure some critics of the Duterte administration are doing just that after learning that the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV-ARD) has claimed its first victim in the country.

The victim, a 44-year-old male tourist, is the first reported casualty of the virus outside its country of origin, mainland China.

He happened to be the partner of the 38-year-old female from Wuhan City, Hubei province, who was previously reported as the first positive case of the 2019-nCoV-ARD in the country.

To those who still don’t know, Wuhan is said to be the epidemic’s “ground zero,” the epicenter.

“He (the victim) experienced symptoms of fever, cough and sore throat before being admitted at the San Lazaro Hospital (in Sta. Cruz, Manila),” the World Health Organization (WHO) Philippines said on its Facebook post.

The couple arrived in the country via Hong Kong on Jan. 21. The man was admitted to the hospital on Jan. 25 after experiencing fever, cough and sore throat.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III was quick to point out that the victim was suffering from “mixed infections” aside from the novel coronavirus.

“We should mention that in this patient (second case), meron din siyang (he already had) mixed pathogens. I would say, (it was a) mixed infection due to Influenza D,” he said.

Hmm. Maybe he meant the Influenza A virus, which is known to cause flu pandemics, since the Influenza D virus primarily affects cattle and is not known to infect or make people sick.

At any rate, here are the updates of the disease in the country as of Sunday morning, Feb. 2, 2020:

The Department of Health (DOH) reported that two patients were confirmed positive for the 2019-nCoV-ARD. And I assumed the agency was referring to the couple from Wuhan.

Of the 34 patients that were under investigation, 30 were found negative of the infectious disease. Ten of them were already discharged, according to health officials.

By the way, the DOH did not indicate the nationalities of the persons it was investigating so it’s safe to say that we don’t know if a Filipino has been infected yet. Not that it would actually matter since we all know the virus doesn’t choose its victims.


SunStar website welcomes friendly debate, but comments posted on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of the SunStar management and its affiliates. SunStar reserves the right to delete, reproduce or modify comments posted here without notice. Posts that are inappropriate will automatically be deleted.

Forum rules:

Do not use obscenity. Some words have been banned. Stick to the topic. Do not veer away from the discussion. Be coherent. Do not shout or use CAPITAL LETTERS!

Create your own user feedback survey