The Department of Health on Saturday confirmed a new case of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to six.
The latest case is the wife of a patient previously confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19 who had no recent travel history, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a press briefing.
"The DOH also reports that the patient's wife tested positive for COVID-19 after contact tracing activities were prompted," Duque said.
"This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to six," he said.
The sixth confirmed case of COVID-19 is a 59-year-old female who presented with cough and was admitted at the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine on March 5.
"The patient is currently in stable condition," Duque said.
Duque also confirmed that the previously reported fifth case of COVID-19 is the first case of local transmission in the country.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque the 3rd: The DOH confirms that the previously reported 5th case of Corona Disease 2019 or COVID-19 as the first case of local transmission in the country.— DZBB Super Radyo (@dzbb) March 7, 2020
The said patient has had no recent travel history, based on information from the Bureau of Immigration.
On Friday, the World Health Organization said the fifth confirmed COVID-19 patient is already a case of local transmission.
Meanwhile, the DOH also said it has raised the Code Red Sub-level 1 alert.
"With this Code Red, the DOH has recommended to the Office of the President for the declaration of public health emergency which will facilitate mobilization of resources and ease processes, including procurement of critical logistics and supplies and intensifying reporting and quarantine measures," the Health chief said.
Duque also said the DOH is doing all it can to identify all those who may have come into contact with the confirmed COVID-19 patients.
"The DOH is currently exhausting all its efforts to identify others who may have come in contact with the confirmed cases to ensure that these localized transmission does not progress to community spread," he said.
Earlier on Saturday, Taguig-based consultancy and financial advisory firm Deloitte Philippines confirmed that one of its employees has tested positive for COVID-19.
The firm is based in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig City.
Taguig City Mayor Lino Cayetano on Saturday said the Deloitte Philippines employee who tested positive for COVID-19 is not a new case but is one of the two latest cases earlier confirmed by the DOH.
During the Saturday press conference, DOH Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the patient traveled to Japan and arrived back in Manila from Haneda airport on February 25 aboard Philippine Airlines flight PR 421 on February 25.
"Pumasok sa opisina at nakipag-meeting... Nakapasok ng isang araw," Vergeire said.
Meanwhile, St. Luke's Medical Center said it has isolated the COVID-19-positive patient when brought to the hospital's emergency wing.
"St. Luke's Medical Center - Global City was able to identify, isolate, and screen a patient at the isolation room located outside the emergency wing who turned out positive for COVID-19," it said in a statement issued on Saturday.
The hospital said the DOH had the patient transferred and admitted to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
"Fortunately, the patient was identified right away and exposure was limited as he did not enter the main hospital premises and main emergency room," SLMC said.
It added that the medical facility is "equipped to handle and contain such cases."
"We have taken all necessary measures to ensure the safety and care of all our patients and healthcare workers following a protocol set by our infectious disease specialists," SLMC said.
As of Friday, the number of people infected with the new coronavirus surpassed 100,000 across the world. —with a report from Joahna Lei Casilao/KG, GMA News