2 quarantined at New Clark City test positive for coronavirus as total hits 33

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 10)— Two of nine new coronavirus disease cases in the country are among the Filipinos brought home from the Diamond Princess and quarantined at New Clark City in Tarlac, the Health Department announced Tuesday.

The department said both of them are asymptomatic and remain in the quarantine facility, which houses hundreds of Filipinos previously on the American cruise ship that was quarantined off the coast of Japan after a passenger tested positive for coronavirus.

The new cases bring to 33 the total number of people confirmed to have contracted the disease, officially called COVID-19. The Health Department earlier reported that the tally has reached 35 but later corrected their figure to 33, saying two patients were erroneously counted twice because of repeat testing of their samples.

Seven of the new cases are admitted at The Medical City, the Health Department reported. Their current condition is still being verified.

Four of the new COVID-19 patients have no history of travel or exposure, while three of them have been in contact with someone who had the virus.

Two COVID-19 cases announced Monday night by President Rodrigo Duterte are admitted at Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City, while one is admitted at Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium in Caloocan City, and another is at the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City.

Three of the four cases announced by Duterte did not have any history of travel or exposure to someone with COVID-19. One of them traveled to Switzerland before testing positive.

Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla earlier said one man from Imus, Cavite was confirmed to have COVID-19. It is not clear whether he is among those earlier confirmed by the Health Department or is part of the new set of cases.

Most of the cases have been recorded in Metro Manila, but the Health Department said they are also monitoring other regions for the virus.

Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that many COVID-19 patients are recorded in Metro Manila because it is home to the country's main ports and is the center for business and trade.

Even with COVID-19 cases rising by the day, the Health Department is still not concluding that there is community transmission of the virus that causes the disease as they are still conducting gene sequencing which will reveal which cases are connected to each other.

The Health Department earlier explained that they can confirm that there is community spread of the virus once a patient who never traveled and never got in contact with someone who already has the virus tests positive.

All patients who earlier tested positive for COVID-19 are stable, except for a 62-year-old Filipino man and an 86-year-old American man who are in critical condition.

"Medyo kritikal ang lagay nila ngayon at binabantayang maigi sa ating referral hospitals," Vergeire said.

[Translation: Their condition is quite critical now and they are being monitored closely at our referral hospitals.]

The Philippines is under a state of public health emergency, which would allow the government to tap into more funds for its response to the disease. The Health Department has also raised the possibility of localized lockdowns once community spread is confirmed and Red Alert Sublevel 2 is raised.