San Lazaro Hospital equipped to treat nCoV patient: Palace

MalacaAang on Friday allayed public fears over 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), ensuring the government is on top of the situation to stop the spread of infection in the country.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo guaranteed that San Lazaro Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila, where the country's first 2019-nCoV patient is being treated, is equipped and prepared to handle such cases.

His statement came a day after the Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III confirmed a 38-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan City, China tested positive for the 2019-nCoV. The patient arrived in the Philippines on January 21.

Panelo assured the public that there is no way the Chinese woman can infect another person in the country.

The Chinese woman afflicted with the dreadful illness came from Wuhan, flew to Hongkong, then to Cebu, then to Dumaguete and finally landed in NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport). She is presently confined at San Lazaro, Panelo said.

Per DOH Secretary Duque, the patient is being treated and isolated. There is no way that she will transmit the disease to another person as the hospital personnel are protectively dressed and their mouths and noses covered with surgical masks plus their hands covered with gloves, he added.

Laboratory results from the Victorian Infectious Disease Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia showed the woman is positive for the new strain of coronavirus.

The patient is currently asymptomatic, meaning she is infected with 2019-nCoV but showing no symptoms.

Panelo said the first case of novel coronavirus raises serious concern on the health and safety of our countrymen.

The DOH has been instructed by the President to commence the protocols it has prepared for such an eventuality to contain the disease and neutralize its transmission and spread, Panelo said.

The 2019-nCoV that originated in Wuhan, China has killed over 200 people and infected more than 9,000 others in mainland China.

The deadly virus has also spread to other countries, prompting the World Health Organization to declare the outbreak of the new infectious virus as a public health emergency of international concern.

Earlier Friday, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go said the President approved the recommendation to impose a temporary ban on travelers from Wuhan and the entire Hubei province in China.

Go said Duterte is also eyeing expanding the coverage of temporary travel ban order by including coronavirus-hit countries.

Panelo said the temporary ban stays until the threat of novel coronavirus is over.

The safety of our countrymen is foremost in the President's mind, he said.

The DOH assures us that every measure is being undertaken to contain the spread of the dreadful virus as well as monitoring and placing in quarantine those showing of symptoms of having nCoV, Panelo added.

Meanwhile, Panelo asked the public to follow the advice of the DOH to avert the spread of 2019-nCoV in the country.

Observe personal hygiene as a preventive measure like regularly washing one's hands and wearing surgical masks (when) going around crowded areas, he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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