The number of persons under investigation (PUI) in the Philippines for possible infection of novel coronavirus has almost doubled in the past 24 hours as it climbed to 24 on Tuesday.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), 18 of the PUIs have been admitted in Metro Manila hospitals.
Other suspected cases were recorded in Mimaropa, the Visayas, and Northern Mindanao.
Results of screening and confirmation tests are being awaited from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and Australia’s Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory, respectively.
Aside from the 24 PUIs, three patients who were subjected to strict observation were cleared and discharged after laboratory results revealed other diseases. The DOH did not disclose their exact locations.
Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said most of the patients under probe were Chinese nationals and no Filipinos were involved.
ATM: Health Sec. Francisco Duque, Usec. Eric Domingo, Foreign Affairs Usec. Brigido Dulay, and WHO Country Rep. Dr. Abeyasinghe, give updates on novel coronavirus which already claimed over 100 lives in China. @gmanews pic.twitter.com/CSnFJ1XSu3— Dona Magsino (@donamagsino) January 28, 2020
Earlier in the day, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) temporarily stopped issuing tourist visas on arrival to Chinese nationals in a bid to curb their arrival and minimize the chance of virus transmission.
The novel coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan City of China’s Hubei province last December.
According to the World Health Organization, the new strain of coronavirus already reached Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, US, Canada, and France.
Death toll has reached over 100 and more than 4,000 have already been infected, the Chinese government said on Tuesday.
There are no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in the Philippines yet as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the DOH. —KG, GMA News