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DOH urges the public to wash hands, drink water, eat healthy, avoid crowded places

After confirming the first case of novel coronavirus in the Philippines Thursday, the Department of Health (DOH) urged the public to wash hands, stay hydrated, eat nutritious food and avoid crowded places.

At a press conference, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said everyone should be "conscious about personal hygiene such as washing of the hands for 20 seconds. and we recommend [you do that] as often as you can."

According to Duque, you can apply alcohol on your hands and palm, if washing of the hands is not possible. 

He reminded that people should practice coughing etiquette, "maintaining the distance of not less than one meter apart from the next guy in front or the back and at your side."

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Duque said it is important to stay hydrated at all times because "it appears that the virus will be difficult to inactivate in low temperatures and low humidity or dry atmosphere."

"I strongly recommend as your doctor that you have to drink a lot of water. Make sure that your throat is moist so that the virus doesn't attach to it and eventually get sore," he added.

Another thing he noted is "the intake of nutritious food rich in vitamins A, C, D, E and mineral zinc which is included in multivitamins."

Duque said zinc has been "proven to protect the throat."

"Drink a lot of  fruit juices rich in vitamin C and put malunggay in many of your soup and many other food stock," he added.

Duque said people should "avoid crowded places as much as possible."

If you are starting to feel any of the symptoms, Duque said you should wear a mask to help prevent the spread whatever virus you have not just the nCoV.

READ: Novel coronavirus: How to best avoid it

The first confirmed nCoV case in the Philippines is a 38-year-old woman from Wuhan, China who arrived in the Philippines via Hong Kong on January 21.

She was admitted in one of the country's government hospitals on January 25 after experiencing a mild cough.

Duque said the woman was asymptomatic which means she had no fever and other symptoms suggesting illness.

He said there are currently 29 persons under investigation for possible nCoV infection nationwide.

Eighteen are in Metro Manila, four in Central Visayas, three in Western Visayas, one in MIMAROPA, one in Eastern Visayas, one in Northern Mindanao, and one in Davao.