By J. Jala | 10:28 PM January 24, 2020
The Department of Health (DOH) announced on Friday that samples from the child suspected of being infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) tested negative for the said virus.
The test was performed at the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia, the statement said.
Last Tuesday, January 21, 2020, DOH disclosed that a five-year-old child, manifesting pneumonia-like symptoms and with a history of travel from Wuhan, China was admitted in Cebu City for investigation. After yielding a positive result for the pancoronavirus assay, oropharyngeal and serum specimens from the child were sent to Australia for identification of the specific coronavirus strain.
“This is indeed very welcome news to ease the Filipinos’ growing concern. I assure everyone that your Department of Health will not stop here and is on top of this emerging health event. We will continue to monitor the developing situation and ensure mechanisms to contain the threat of the 2019-nCoV,” assured Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III.
The Bureau of Quarantine remains on alert and continues to work closely with airlines and airport authorities for stricter border surveillance. DOH has also activated its emergency response and continues to strengthen national-level preparedness, heighten community surveillance, enhance case management and hospital readiness, and intensify information dissemination and community engagement.
DOH recommends all travelers with symptoms of fever and cough, and with history of travel to Wuhan, China to immediately proceed to any hospital for prompt medical attention and management. DOH assured that its health facilities are equipped and prepared to receive suspected cases of the 2019-nCoV. Health workers are advised to observe preventive measures and infection control protocols.
“Let us continue to be vigilant. Always practice hand hygiene, observe proper cough etiquette, avoid close contact with people manifesting flu-like symptoms, avoid contact with farm and wild animals, cook food properly, and adopt healthy lifestyles to mount immunity against infections,” the Health Chief concluded.