Duque urges suspected novel coronavirus cases to stop refusing hospitalization

By CNN Philippines Staff

The Department of Health is asking people suspected of being sick with the novel coronavirus to follow health authorities’ advise to get hospital treatment to prevent the spread of infection.

“I urge everyone, including the persons or patients under investigation, to please cooperate with the DOH in its effort to contain the new virus. Let us do our part in keeping the threat of the 2019-nCoV at bay,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told CNN Philippines’ New Day on Friday.

Ten of the 178 persons under investigation or PUIs as of Thursday refused to be admitted, the health official reported. Of the total, 147 are currently admitted and getting treatment in hospitals, he said.

Duque added 48 PUIs have already tested negative for the 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease, but they are still being “strictly” monitored. The number of confirmed cases of the new viral illness in the Philippines remains at three, including one who died of the disease.

The top health official added the department is still awaiting the test results for coronavirus of 127 PUIs.

The people under investigation are those who exhibit the red flag symptoms of the 2019-nCoV ARD such as fever, respiratory infection (cough or colds), have travel history to or lived in Wuhan – the Chinese city at the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak, or who work in a healthcare facility and had close contact with a confirmed case, according to the World Health Organization’s guidelines. Scientists have yet to identify the exact clinical manifestations and seriousness of the acute respiratory disease as they establish more facts about it.

According to the tally of Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering, which follows cases across the world, the global death toll from 2019-nCoV has risen to 638, mostly in China. Two fatalities were reported outside of the world’s most populous country — in Hong Kong and the Philippines. The 2019-nCoV disease has also afflicted more than 31,000 people, the tracker showed. The number includes the youngest case, a 30-hour old baby from Wuhan City, CNN reported Thursday.

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