First Filipino COVID-19 patient recovers, two more infections recorded

Photo: Raph Bosano / ABS-CBN News" width="100%" />
A Manila hospital’s emergency receiving area Photo: Raph Bosano / ABS-CBN News

A 46-year-old male from Pasay City has become the first person in weeks, and the first-ever Filipino patient, to recover from COVID-19 in the country.

The Department of Health (DOH) announced last night that the man, case PH14, was admitted to the Makati Medical Center on Feb. 25 after coming down with a cough and fever, and tested positive for the novel coronavirus on March 5. He did not travel outside the country prior to being infected.

The DOH reports that PH14 is now asymptomatic and tested negative for COVID-19 twice before being discharged on Sunday.

“While this is a very welcome development, there is no reason for us to be complacent,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque said.

“We need the public to cooperate with us now more than ever, and serve as our partners in ensuring that the spread of COVID-19 is put to a halt. Let us all act fast and act now.”

To date, three patients have recovered from COVID-19 in the Philippines. The first two, cases PH1 and PH3, were Chinese tourists from Wuhan who reportedly recovered and returned to China weeks ago. One of their compatriots, case PH2, was the first person in the country to die of the illness. So far, 11 more people have succumbed to the disease in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the DOH announced last night that two more people have tested positive for the virus, bringing the total cases in the country to 142. Details about the new cases had yet to be released as of press time.

Yesterday, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said he had tested positive of the virus. Zubiri, who has been under self-quarantine since Thursday, said he took a test on Friday and was informed of the result by Duque last night. He said prior to testing positive, he practiced social distancing and had a no-handshake policy.

“My heart sank with what he had said but I’m uplifted with the fact that I am asymptomatic and have no fever or cough nor am I weak or have any headaches,” the senator said.

“I got contaminated. How, I do not know. This just goes to show how easily this virus is spread and therefore it is best for everyone to stay home and stay clean,” he added.

Zubiri remains in isolation at home, and said he will be tested again after 10 days to see if he’s free of the disease.

Previously, Zubiri and several other senators said they would go into self-quarantine after learning that one of their aides in a four-hour Senate hearing on March 5 had tested positive for COVID-19.

Separately, several government officials put themselves under self-quarantine after reportedly coming in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus, and at least five government offices were shut and disinfected.

President Rodrigo Duterte also got tested for the virus, and his results came back negative over the weekend.



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