The Department of Health (DOH) reported that as of 12:00 NN, there are now only 43 patients under investigation (PUIs) admitted in various health facilities. A total of 592 patients have already been discharged.

“The decrease in the number of PUIs being admitted is welcome news to all. This may be attributed to our strengthened surveillance, early travel restrictions, and enhanced laboratory processes. But this is not enough reason to let our guards down. The DOH will continuously assess the situation and improve its surveillance protocols based on evidence and further developments,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III explained.

Updates on Repatriates at NCC Quarantine Facility

DOH reported that 14 quarantined individuals at the New Clark City (NCC) showed signs and symptoms of respiratory illness. The PUIs manifested sore throat (10), cough (3) and fever (1) and all have been tested for COVID-19. 

Among the 14 PUIs, 10 tested negative for COVID-19 while 4 are with pending laboratory results. The PUIs are still admitted at the referral facility.

“We are more than ready to cater to the needs of our kababayans should they test positive for COVID-19. We are also geared up for the possibility of local transmission. The welfare and safety of our health workers are our topmost priority, and as such we have adequately trained and equipped them to carefully handle positive cases should they arise,” the Health Secretary said.

Global Situation

DOH is adapting its contingency plans as the World Health Organization raised its risk assessment on the COVID-19 to “Very High” at the regional and global levels. Currently there are 58 countries with confirmed cases and 20 countries with local transmission.

DOH also reported that as of March 2, there are a total of 86 confirmed COVID-19 cases among Overseas Filipinos (OF) around the globe. Japan recorded the most OF cases with a total of 80 (48 admitted,  32 discharged), followed by UAE, Hongkong, and Singapore with two cases each. The most recent case was a 41-year old Filipina who was admitted to a health facility in Singapore.

“The Philippine Government has repatriated 10 Overseas Filipinos from the M/V Diamond Princess cruise ship who were initially positive for COVID-19 and were later discharged after their recovery. President Roa Rodrigo Duterte has been personally monitoring their status, and promised the same care and protection to our other kababayans who might soon find themselves in the same position. He is keen on ensuring our fellow-Filipinos’ health and safety wherever they are in the world,” the Health Chief remarked.