The number of confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients in the Philippines climbed to 33 on Tuesday as the Department of Health (DOH) recorded nine new cases.
The DOH had to backtrack on its latest figures after announcing earlier in the day 11 new confirmed cases.
DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Maria Rosario S. Vergeire said the two other cases involved repeat tests bearing positive samples.
“Upon verification, DOH reported that two of the new positive samples received by the Epidemiology Bureau are repeat tests on samples taken from patients 7 and 8,” she explained.
Vergeire said they decided to release an updated tally on the COVID-19 cases in the country after a private organization released the figure ahead of the DOH media conference.
“We’d like to apologize for that… There was this post coming from the health emergency meeting… wherein they initially reported the 35 cases,” she said. “It was supposed to be DOH initially issuing out these kinds of numbers.”
Vergeire said the 13 new cases, composed of the nine new cases recorded on Tuesday and four announced by President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night, are admitted at the following hospitals:
- Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital for Patient 21 (58-year-old female)
- Cardinal Santos Medical Center for Patient 22 (51-year-old female)
- San Lazaro Hospital for Patient 23 (30-year-old female)
- St. Luke's Medical Center - Quezon City for Patient 24 (52-year-old male)
- New Clark City quarantine facility for Patients 25 (31-year-old male) and 26 (34-year-old male), who are both repatriates from the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship
- The Medical City for Patients 27 to 33
Patient 27 is a 42-year-old female with no travel history.
Patient 28 is a 69-year-old male with a history of exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case.
Patient 29 is an 82-year-old female who also has a history of contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.
Patient 30 is a 69-year-old female who was also exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case.
Patient 31 is a 28-year-old female, Patient 32 is a 64-year-old male, and Patient 33 is a 60-year-old male. All three patients had no known travel history.
Patients 21 to 33 are all Filipinos, according to data released by the DOH.
The health official added that out of the 13 new cases, patients 21 to 24 are currently stable, patients 25 and 26 are asymptomatic, while the status of patients 27 to 33 are yet to be verified by the DOH.
“The Epidemiology Bureau is conducting comprehensive contact tracing activities for all cases,” Vergeire added.
“The Epidemiology Bureau is conducting comprehensive contact tracing activities for all cases,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.
Vergeire added that patients 4, 6, 7, 8, and 10 are all in stable condition.
Patient 5, a 62-year-old male from San Juan City, and patient 9, an 89-year-old American male residing in Marikina, are both in “guarded” condition.
“Ibig sabihin, because of co-morbidities, ibang karamdaman na nakasama doon sa [kanilang] pagkakaroon ng COVID-19 ay mas critical ang lagay nila sa ngayon,” Vergeire explained.
The DOH added that there are no plans yet to enforce lockdowns since they have not yet verified that there is sustained community transmission in the country.
Hospitals with coronavirus patients
The country’s first three COVID-19 cases were all Chinese nationals with a history of travel to the epicenter of the outbreak.
The 44-year-old male became the first COVID-19 fatality outside of China, while his 38-year-old wife recovered from the disease and was discharged in February.
A 60-year-old Chinese woman tested positive for COVID-19 on January 30 but has since returned to China.
As of Tuesday, the Philippines' 30 other confirmed cases are confined at the following hospitals according to the DOH:
- Research Institute for Tropical Medicine
- Patient 4 (48-year-old Filipino male)
- Patient 5
- Patient 6 (59-year-old Filipino female and wife of patient 5)
- Patient 16 (70-year-old Filipino male)
- Patient 17 (69-year-old Filipino female)
- Patient 20 (48-year-old Filipino male)
- Makati Medical Center:
- Patient 7 (38-year-old Taiwanese male)
- Patient 12 (56-year-old Filipino male)
- Patient 13 (34-year-old Filipino male)
- Patient 14 (46-year-old Filipino male)
- St. Luke’s Medical Center - Global City:
- Patient 8 (32-year-old Filipino male) is in Taguig
- St. Luke’s Medical Center - Quezon City
- Patient 10 (57-year-old Filipino male)
- Parient 11 (72-year-old Filipino male)
- Patient 24 (52-year-old male)
- The Medical City:
- Patient 9 (89-year-old American male)
- Patient 27
- Patient 28
- Patient 29
- Patient 30
- Patient 31
- Patient 32
- Patient 33
- Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital:
- Patient 15 (24-year-old Filipino male)
- Patient 21 (58-year-old female)
- San Lazaro Hospital:
- Patient 18 (41-year-old Filipino male and husband of patient 19)
- Patient 19 (46-year-old Filipino female and wife of patient 18)
- Patient 23 (30-year-old female)
- Cardinal Santos Medical Center
- Patient 22 (51-year-old female)
- New Clark City quarantine facility
- Patient 25 (31-year-old male, repatriate from Diamond Princess)
- Patient 26 (34-year-old male, repatriate from Diamond Princess)
Public health emergency
President Rodrigo Duterte has already declared a state of public health emergency due to the rising number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
He has also ordered the suspension of classes in Metro Manila from Tuesday, March 10, to Saturday, March 14, in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said two COVID-19 patients with other preexisting medical conditions are in critical condition and incubated at hospitals.
Faced with this massive threat, the DOH has requested a P3-billion supplemental budget from Congress to purchase protective gear and an additional 40,000 test kits.
Earlier in the day, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of test kits developed by the University of the Philippines that can detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. —KBK/JST/BM, GMA News