By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
MANILA – There is no existing positive case of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the Philippines, Malacañang said Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued the statement, as some news reports continue to highlight the three confirmed cases of Covid-19 involving Chinese nationals from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the deadly virus.
Panelo explained that one of the three Covid-19 patients in the country died, while the two others already recovered from the new strain of coronavirus.
“The Office of the President wishes to emphasize that the Philippines has currently no existing positive case of novel coronavirus (Covid-19). On the earlier three reported, one had already expired and the two had already recovered and been discharged. We hope this would enlighten the public,” he noted.
On Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte called on his fellow Filipinos to trust and cooperate with the government amid its fight against Covid-19 in the country.
Duterte has imposed a travel ban on all foreign nationals from mainland China, its administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macao, as well as Taiwan.
Filipinos and foreigners with permanent resident visas are allowed to return to the Philippines but need to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Panelo assured the public that all proper steps and approaches are in place “to contain, if not to totally defeat this global health menace.”
“All the protocols (are) so far undertaken to contain the spread of the virus, as well as other measures to be made in relation thereto as the circumstances require, are anchored solely on the safety and security of the health of our countrymen,” he said.
Covid-19, which was first discovered in Wuhan, China in December 2019, has so far killed more than 1,000 people and infected nearly 60,000 others.
The majority of confirmed cases have been recorded in China, while some have been reported in over 20 countries.
As of Thursday, around 230 persons under investigation (PUIs) for Covid-19 have been admitted to several health facilities, according to the figures uploaded on the official website of the Department of Health (DOH).
A total of 208 PUIs have already been discharged, while around 252 PUIS have tested negative for the novel coronavirus.
There are 186 cases pending test results from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
The DOH has ensured that to date, there is no local community transmission in the country. (PNA)