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First Filipino to die of COVID-19 had hypertension, succumbed to pneumonia

The Philippines’ first Filipino fatality due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) died of severe pneumonia, the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday.

The DOH said Patient 35, a 67-year-old Filipino woman, died at the Manila Doctors Hospital.

She had pre-existing hypertension and diabetes mellitus prior to contracting COVID-19.

“Our recent mortality had underlying medical conditions, making the patient extremely vulnerable to COVID-19,” the DOH said in a statement.

Patient 35 began developing COVID-19 symptoms on February 29 and was admitted on March 5.

Samples were taken from her on March 8 and sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine for testing.

The Manila Doctors Hospital said she died before it was confirmed that she had COVID-19. 

Patient 35 was the wife of Patient 34, a 72-year-old resident of Makati City.

The husband remains confined at the Manila Doctors Hospital and is in stable condition.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri confirmed that Patient 34 was a resource person at a Senate hearing held last week.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer are at higher risk of COVID-19 infection.

“We further urge those who are immunocompromised and are with existing health conditions to be more vigilant and avoid crowded areas and mass gatherings,” he said. —NB, GMA News

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