MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Friday urged the public to remain “calm and sensible,” despite reports that two foreigners who tested positive for 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) have had previous travel to the Philippines.
Andanar issued the statement after two people from Taiwan and Australia who traveled to the Philippines have acquired Covid-19 after returning to their respective homes.
“We request the general public to remain calm and sensible, and to not resort to any rash conclusion, that could lead to unfounded widespread panic, regarding the new recorded cases of 2019-novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in Australia and Taiwan, with both patients having recently traveled to the Philippines,” he said.
In a press conference, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III confirmed that a 38-year-old Taiwanese man who visited the Philippines from February 28 to March 3 developed abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, sore throat, fever, and malaise.
Duque said the Taiwanese national tested positive for Covid-19 on March 5, a day after his consultation at an outpatient clinic in Taiwan.
Meanwhile, an Australian woman who left the Philippines on March 2 after attending a wedding in Manila and visiting Pangasinan was confirmed to have been infected with Covid-19 by the New South Wales Government on March 3, Duque said.
Andanar ensured that the government will continue its campaigns and undertakings against Covid-19.
He guaranteed that there is an intensified information drive to contain the spread of the virus.
He added that the health facilities in the country are ready to address positive cases of Covid-19.
“These actions are part of our commitment to ensure the health and safety of our citizens and that the Philippines is doing its part in the worldwide effort to fight this viral outbreak,” Andanar said.
Andanar also enjoined everyone to continue to “cooperate, heed, and observe” all precautionary measures imposed by the Department of Health, and other advisories issued by other concerned government agencies.
“Preventing the spread of this health concern is something that cannot be done independently, but one that must be addressed collectively,” he said.
Apart from the two foreigners, Duque said a 44-year-old Japanese male who traveled to the Philippines from February 21 to 28 and flew back to Japan on March 4 also tested positive for Covid-19.
Duque also confirmed two Filipinos tested in the Philippines tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total of positive cases in the country to five.
The fourth case is a 48-year-old male Filipino with travel history to Japan, while the fifth confirmed case is a 62-year old male Filipino who has no known history of overseas travel.
The three other confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country involved three Chinese nationals from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak of the disease.
One of the three Chinese nationals died due to Covid-19, while the two others already recovered from the disease. (ia/PNA)