60-year-old Chinese woman is third nCoV case in PH

THE Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday, February 5, confirmed the third case of the novel coronavirus in the Philippines — a 60-year-old Chinese woman who came from Wuhan and traveled to Cebu City via a flight from Hong Kong on January 20.

“The DOH confirms that a sample from a 60-year-old female tested positive for the 2019-nCoV. This is the third case of nCoV in the Philippines,” said Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo.

According to him, the Chinese tourist initially tested negative after she was admitted to a hospital in Bohol for a fever and runny nose.

After the Chinese woman was discharged, she returned to China through a flight from Cebu on January 31.

On January 30, the DOH confirmed the first 2019-nCoV case in the Philippines — a 38-year-old Chinese woman who arrived in the country via Hong Kong last January 21.

Her companion, a 44-year-old male, was confirmed to be the second case as well as the first confirmed carrier of the virus in the country.

The second case passed away on February 1 after he was confined for fever, cough and sore throat.

According to Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, the World Health Organization’s Representative in the Philippines, his death is the first new coronavirus-related death outside of China.

As of this writing, the number of persons under investigation (PUI) in the country for possible 2019-nCoV has risen to 133 — of which 63 are Filipinos while 54 are Chinese.

Stop xenophobia

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, February 3 asked Filipinos to stop their xenophobia against Chinese nationals after netizens called for the government to bar all Chinese from entering and sending those in the country back to China amid the 2019-nCoV outbreak.

“If the question is if I will bar Chinese from entering, the answer of course is no. That is an utter disrespect to a human being… This kind of mentioning the Chinese and blaming them, it’s like xenophobia,” he said during a late night press briefing with Cabinet officials at Malacanang.

“We are a community of nations. We cooperate. China has been kind to us, we can also show the same favor to them. Stop this xenophobia,” he added.

According to Duterte, the posts against the Chinese were in “bad taste.”

He also reminded the public that the Chinese were not at fault for the emergence of the disease.

“It happened in China — at least the first [case] — but that is not the fault of anybody. Not of the Chinese, not the Filipinos, not of anyone,” Duterte said. 

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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