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DOH: No confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Philippines yet

There are still no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in humans in the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) clarified on Thursday.

"The Department of Health wishes to clarify that it is yet to receive the confirmatory results for the five-year-old under investigation for 2019-nCoV," it said in a statement.

"As such, the child will remain as a person under investigation," it added.

The DOH was referring to a Chinese child who showed flu-like symptoms upon arriving in Cebu from Wuhan City in China, where the new virus is thought to have originated, earlier this week.

The patient already tested negative for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Specimen from the child was sent to Australia to identify the specific coronavirus strain involved.

The DOH is still awaiting the results and thanked the public for their vigilance and cooperation.

Meanwhile, four family members of Hong Kong's first suspected case of the novel coronavirus had reportedly been able to go on a trip to the Philippines.

The airline that carried the said passengers said "all passengers and the crew aboard the flight were screened by the Bureau of Quarantine upon arrival in Manila, and none of them were held for further observation."

The Bureau of Immigration also said that it already knows the whereabouts of the patient's kin and that they are now being monitored.

The novel coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan City, the capital of Hubei Province in China last December.

Similar cases were later reported in United States, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and Macau.

The World Health Organization said that this particular strain of coronavirus has not been previously identified in humans and the severity of the infection it causes is still being studied. 

Fever, difficulty in breathing, cough, and cold are among the symptoms of this virus. — Dona Magsino/MDM, GMA News