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Pinoy Abroad

Filipino in South Korea tests positive for COVID-19 —DOH

A Filipino tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in South Korea, according to the Department of Health (DOH) on Monday.

"Mayroon pong ibinibigay sa aming impormasyon kahapon na mayroon ho tayong nag-positive na case sa South Korea. Pero 'yung buong detalye po ay hindi pa natin nakukuha," Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an interview on GMA News' Unang Balita.

But in a press conference in Malacañang later in the day, Vergeire clarified that there is still no confirmed case of a Filipino with COVID-19 in South Korea.

"No, we don't have any Filipino yet positive for COVID-19. We have one in Singapore, we have two in UAE, and we have one in Hong Kong," Vergeire said when asked for confirmation.

Consul General Christian De Jesus, in a separate interview on GMA News TV's Balitanghali said that the Philippine Embassy in South Korea has not received any reports on Filipinos infected by the virus.

"Wala pong official confirmation... We've contacted the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Ministry of Health, hindi po tayo makakuha ng confirmation at wala rin pong impormasyon na mayroong PIlipino na may impeksyon na dahil sa coronavirus," De Jesus said.

He added that as of Monday noon, there are 753 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Korea but none of them are Filipinos.

South Korea raised its virus alert to the highest level on Sunday as the number of confirmed cases within its borders reached over 600—the highest outside China, aside from the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said there is no travel ban yet on South Korea but Filipinos are advised to "delay non-essential travel" to the country amid the COVID-19 situation. 

In Japan, 49 Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 after being aboard M/V Diamond Princess cruise ship where over 600 people had been infected.

Vergeire urged Filipinos to postpone their trips abroad, if possible.

"Kung hindi naman necessary at this point ang ating pagbiyahe, baka puwedeng ipagpaliban muna para tayo ay makasigurado," she said.

Vergeire previously mentioned that imposing new travel restrictions on countries with reported local transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is being considered by the country's Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases. —Dona Magsino/KG/KBK, GMA News