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Panic and anger spreads on social media after the Philippines’ first case of nCov reported n

The country’s first 2019-nCoV patient is a 38-year-old woman, who traveled to the Philippines from Wuhan, China on January 21.

A sense of panic is spreading on social media after the Department of Health confirmed its first case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the Philippines.

In a press briefing on Thursday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the country’s first 2019-nCoV patient is a 38-year-old woman, who traveled to the Philippines from Wuhan, China on January 21.

Duque said the Chinese national is currently in a government hospital in Manila, where she was admitted on January 25, but was no longer showing symptoms.

He said authorities would check the establishments that she went to and trace the people she had been in contact with.

He noted that the woman, a tourist, has visited Cebu and Dumaguete.

Duque said the woman is among the 29 people being monitored by the DOH.

These patients under investigation are in the following areas:
Metro Manila – 18
Central Visayas – 4
Western Visayas – 3
Eastern Visayas – 1
Northern Mindanao – 1
Davao – 1

Of these patients, 23 were admitted in hospitals and five were discharged but remained under strict monitoring.

Duque said one died of pneumonia at the San Lazaro Hospital on January 29, but the Chinese man was still being tested for the nCoV.

Many Filipino netizens then took to social media to air their fears that the new strain of coronavirus will keep spreading around the country.

They also expressed frustrations over the government’s lack of timely interventions, saying a temporary travel ban to and from China should have been imposed immediately.

Here’s what they said:

“-Known first case of Corona Virus: December 2019.
-January 29, 2020: Still no case of NCoV. Duterte still not worried, lets Chinese people in.
-January 30, 2020: First case of NCoV in the Philippines. Travel history of the lady: 9 days w/n Cebu-Dumaguete-Manila. We’re doomed.”

“Philippines can’t even control a simple disease outbreak how much more if this said virus (CORONAVIRUS) will spread. *God forbids. WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH FACILITIES!!!!”

“We now have one confirmed case of a 38 year old woman from Wuhan China who tested positive of nCov. She traveled both in Cebu and Dumaguete in the Philippines. This scared the shit out of me. Keep safe everyone! So anuna, di pa rin mag-travel ban?”

“I’m sorry but I blamed Duterte and the Government for this mess. If you banned China earlier this wouldn’t happen, you put the Philippines in risk how could you. And to DOH stop acting like it’s fine because it’s not. This coronavirus nCov is deadly.”

“Ahhh F$%#& here we go! Retreating to the forest in a bit. 😷😷😷 Why did we not ban flights coming into the Philippines from China AS SOON AS WE GOT WORD of #Coronavirus?! May God help us! 😭😭😭🤬🤬🤬” – Mikey Bustos.


“If any Filipino gets infected with ncov, let it be known that it is SOLELY the fault of our deeply incompetent government. They had every chance to stop all flights coming from China but they didn’t because for them, diplomacy outweighs the lives of the Filipino people.”

“We’re all scared of HIV-AIDS so we avoid unprotected sex or even sex in general cos it’s scary and here comes nCov that can be transmitted easily from one person to another without even intimate contact. Gosh mas scary. 🥺🥺🥺🥺”

“During the Taal eruption, we were reminded that the disaster fund was cut by billions. Now in the time of nCoV, let us be reminded that the budget for health was also cut by billions. For intelligence and military fund. Let us fucking kill this government.”

“Imagine how Duterte is willing to terminate the visiting forces agreement with US just because of bato’s denied visa but he don’t see the need to ban flights from china in order to prevent the spreading of ncov. DUTERTE TUTA NG CHINA.”

Meanwhile, Duque appealed for sobriety amid the virus scare.

He assured the public that the DOH “is on top of this evolving situation.”

“We were able to detect the first confirmed case because of our strong surveillance system, close coordination with the World Health Organization and other national agencies,” he said.

“I advise the public to stay calm and be vigilant at all times,” he added.

Duque noted that every DOH hospital has already prepared isolation areas for patients with nCoV.

He added that succeeding tests for the virus will no longer be sent to Australia as it can now be done by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

He said the DOH has already acquired the necessary test kit for the procedure, the results of which may be available within 24 hours of testing.

The DOH chief reminded the public to avoid physical contact, practice proper hygiene, and perform constant washing of hands, as well as proper coughing and sneezing etiquette, to avoid being infected and to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus and other related illnesses.

The scary new virus originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, where wild animals, including birds, rabbits, bats, and snakes, were traded illegally.

The virus has spread across China to at least 16 countries globally, including Australia, France, United States, and Thailand.

More than 130 people have died in China and close to 6,000 have been infected globally.

Written by Angelle De Leon


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