Highlights of the DOH Press Briefing on the Novel Coronavirus Health Event

 Jan 28, 2020 - 1:30pm

On the number of Persons Under Investigation:

  • Current number of PUIs in the Philippines is at 24. As of 1:30 PM today, 5 PUIs were added to the previous total of 22, while 3 were discharged.
  • According to WHO Country Representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, globally the number of confirmed 2019 nCoV is 4,515, where 976 are severe cases, and 37 confirmed in 11 countries outside China. All 106 deaths are in China.
  • There is no evidence yet on asymptomatic patients being infectious. DOH reminds the public to practice cough etiquette and frequent handwashing.

On the Government’s effort to secure the health of Filipinos living in Hubei Province, China:

  • Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases  Resolutions:
    • DOH assures continuous support to Filipinos in China by providing accurate and timely health information, and other necessary support services.
    • Philippine government assures returning Filipinos comprehensive transportation and quarantine plan. All Filipinos shall be quarantined for 14 days. DOH to shoulder logistics and cost of health care services.
    • For Filipinos opting to stay, they should follow public advisories by local authorities in their locations. DOH will continue to provide support including information sharing and telemedicine service.
    • DOH recommends temporary visa restrictions from any tourists coming from Hubei Province of China.
    • DOH temporarily discourages Filipinos from traveling to China.
  • DFA has established Hotline in Hubei and Wuhan for Filipinos’ protection.

On protective measures:

  • WHO reminds the public that the use of surgical gloves, N95 and surgical masks are recommended only for health workers or caregivers who are in close contact with suspected or infected patients. General public may opt not to done masks and gloves.
  • For the general public, regular surgical face masks are useful. Let us reserve N95 for those who really need it.
  • FDA is in contact with suppliers to mobilize stocks of surgical and medical masks. Reminds the public on prudent use considering that there is an increase in worldwide demand of the said commodities.

Other matters:

  • DFA informs the public that a cruise ship from Hong Kong is expected to arrive at Subic together with 780 guests. DFA added that guests were already checked by Quarantine Officers upon exit and while aboard the vessel and will still pass quarantine check at the dock.
  • Chinese Government has already prohibited the exit of their travelers through group tours. Bureau of Immigration has already temporarily halted the “VISA upon entry” scheme.
  • DFA announces that their are around 300 Filipinos in Hubei Province, China - including 100 Filipinos in Wuhan City, China. Only the Immigration Department of the country can ascertain numbers.