2 Diamond Princess passengers with symptoms test negative for COVID-19, 1 awaiting results

Repatriates from Diamond Princess as they arrived at Clark Airbase on Tuesday <i>Photo: Department of Health / FB</i>
Repatriates from Diamond Princess as they arrived at Clark Airbase on Tuesday Photo: Department of Health / FB

Two of the three Filipinos who showed flu-like symptoms while quarantined at New Clark City have tested negative for COVID-19, a Department of Health (DOH) official said today.

This comes a day after DOH Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told radio station DZMM that the three repatriated Filipinos who came home from virus-hit cruise ship Diamond Princess showed symptoms and had been transferred to a nearby hospital. The patients’ samples were sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa.

“Two have sore throat and one has a non-productive cough,” the health official had said yesterday.

Vergeire told CNN Philippines that they are still waiting for the results of the third Filipino, who has a cough and cold.

The three patients are among the 458 Filipinos under quarantine at New Clark City, which includes 440 of the ship’s crew members, five tourists, and 13 repatriation team members. The repatriates have already completed a two-week quarantine on the ship and are undergoing another round of quarantine in the country.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque had earlier said in a statement that there’s still a possibility to be infected with the virus beyond the 14-day incubation period.

“As observed in other countries, there is still a possibility that our nationals may eventually test positive upon their return. We have prepared and equipped our hospitals and laboratory facilities, and allocated all necessary resources and PPEs [Personal Protective Equipment] should this happen,” Duque said.

Anyone who exhibits flu-like symptoms will be transferred to designated hospitals, Vergeire said.

Read: Health department tracking down Koreans who landed in Cebu over COVID-19 fears

Meanwhile, Duque today confirmed that they have already identified the 26 South Koreans who landed in Cebu and the 11 Koreans who arrived in Boracay from Daegu City, where many of Korea’s COVID-19 cases have been centered. The health chief said they are not under mandatory quarantine, but will be placed under strict monitoring.

GMA News reports, however, that eight of the 11 Koreans who arrived in Boracay are scheduled to fly back to their country this morning.

Just a few days ago, the Philippine government imposed a travel ban on North Gyeongsang province, where Daegu City is located. More than 2,000 people have been infected in the province, and 13 people have died from the disease, CNN International reports.


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