The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID)—led by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)—repatriated a total of 32 Filipinos, including two DFA advance party personnel, from Wuhan City, China yesterday, February 9.

The repatriated Filipinos landed at the Clark Airbase in Pampanga and were transferred to the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac for the 14-day quarantine procedure. With them are eight members of the Philippine repatriation team, six plane crew members, and three ground crew operators, bringing the total number of people quarantined in the facility to 49.

Throughout the journey, all 32 repatriated Overseas Filipinos from Wuhan—14 females and 18 males—did not manifest fever or any respiratory symptoms. The repatriates are considered as Persons Under Monitoring (PUM) and are currently being observed and isolated.

“Our on-site medical staff from Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital will be working 24/7 to conduct daily monitoring of the vital signs and status of the PUMs, and provide appropriate health services to those who are quarantined,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

Daily monitoring is scheduled every 9:00 am and 4:00 pm to check for any significant changes in their health status. The DOH has also declared code blue in all government hospitals, health offices, and other health facilities in the region for swift medical response. Those who will develop symptoms, such as fever, cough and colds, and other respiratory symptoms, will be immediately brought to a designated hospital for isolation and proper clinical management.

“The DOH is at the forefront of managing the whole quarantine process and making sure that our beloved kababayans are comfortable and treated with utmost care. We will be closely monitoring them to ensure their safety, as well as the people within their vicinity,” the Health Chief assured the public.

Update on PUIs

As of 12NN today, there are 261 PUI cases currently admitted in various health facilities, while 48 PUIs have been discharged under strict monitoring. Meanwhile, 109 PUIs have tested negative and 3 tested positive for the 2019-nCoV. There are 202 cases pending test results from RITM.

“We are seeing a rapid increase in the transmission rate of the virus globally. In response, DOH has strengthened its capacity in preparation for the possibility of local transmission. All DOH hospitals are equipped to cater to the influx of patients and are following strict infection control protocols to contain the virus ” the Health Secretary contended.

Update on Contact Tracing

As of February 9, the Epidemiology Bureau, together with the PNP-CIDG, has identified all 441 contacts of the first and second case of 2019-nCoV ARD.

Regarding the third confirmed case, a total of 224 (56%) out of 403 contacts were traced, including co-passengers and individual contacts from hotels and hospitals. Currently, 147 (66%) contacts have been interviewed and were placed on home quarantine,  8 symptomatic contacts have been categorized as PUIs and are admitted for isolation and monitoring