The Department of Health on Saturday raised its alert system for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to "Code Red" after it confirmed the first case of localized transmission of the deadly infection.
In a press conference, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that the previously reported fifth case of COVID-19, a 62-year-old Filipino male in San Juan City, is the first case of local transmission in the country after verification from the Bureau of Immigration showed that the patient had no recent travel history.
"In light of the confirmation of localized transmission in the country and in anticipation of possible sustained community transmission, DOH has raised the COVID-19 Alert System to Code Red sublevel 1," Duque said.
Under the DOH code alert system for emergencies, “Code Red Alert” means that 100% of hospital personnel shall report for duty in the facility to render medical and other services.
On the other hand, “Code Blue Alert” means that 50 percent of all hospital personnel shall report for duty in the facility to render medical and other services.
A “Code White Alert” means that all hospital personnel are on standby for deployment and augmentation for medical and other services as necessary.
Nevertheless, Duque clarified that raising the alert level is "a preemptive call to ensure that national and local governments and public and private health care providers can prepare for possible increase in suspected and confirmed cases."
"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.
Also, the DOH also confirmed on Saturday that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country has risen 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, Duque said.
As of Friday, the number of people infected with the new coronavirus surpassed 100,000 across the world. —LBG, GMA News