The Greenhills Muslim prayer hall that a 62-year-old COVID-19 patient used to visit has been ordered temporarily closed by San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora.
In a statement that appeared on his Facebook page today, Zamora said that he has instructed the city health office “to immediately disinfect, sanitize, and close to the public temporarily the prayer room” which the patient used to frequent.
“Rest assured that we are working closely with the Department of Health and that we will release pertinent and verified information as we receive them,” Zamora said.
The health department did not provide specific details about the prayer hall, though the only known facility to fit the description is the Greenhills Masjid inside the Greenhills Shopping Center. The mall was the location of another newsworthy event earlier this week, that of former security guard Alchie Paray’s nine-hour hostage of at least 50 people.
The health department today announced that two Filipinos have been found infected with the coronavirus — the first locals to test positive in the country — who are referred to as cases four and five.
The first three cases of COVID-19 infections in the country were all Chinese nationals, one of whom succumbed to the illness, while the other two have reportedly recovered gone back to China. The fourth case is a 48-year-old Filipino lawyer who had traveled to Japan and is reportedly in a stable condition. However, the fifth case, the elderly Muslim Filipino, is currently suffering from severe pneumonia, GMA News reports.
Prior to the announcement of cases four and five, only Filipinos based abroad had tested positive for the virus, most of them on board the ill-fated cruise ship Diamond Princess.
Meanwhile, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, which is also located in San Juan City, today confirmed that the fifth case was first admitted to their hospital.
In a statement that appeared on their Facebook page, Cardinal Santos said the patient did not travel to any country where there were coronavirus outbreaks.
“He tested positive for COVID-19 given [the] continued presence of symptoms,” they said. “For best care, in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH), the patient was transferred to the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM).”
Cardinal Santos added that so far, “all those who have had contact with the patient have no symptoms.”