4 elderly patients recover from COVID-19 in PH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) — While the elderly are at higher risk for complications from COVID-19, four Filipino patients aged 69 to 75 have recovered from the viral disease in the country.

They are among five recoveries announced by the Department of Health on Saturday. All in all, 13 people have recovered from COVID-19.

Most of those who were earlier cured were younger – from 24 to 46 years old.

The new recoveries include a couple from San Juan City – a 70-year-old Filipino man and a 69-year-old Filipina – who were both discharged on Thursday. They both have hypertension.

The husband first showed red-flag symptoms for coronavirus infection on March 1, while his wife followed the day after. They both tested positive for the virus on March 9, the DOH said.

Meanwhile, a 75-year-old Filipino woman from Makati City was cleared on Tuesday, the DOH said, after testing negative for COVID-19.

Her symptoms began on March 1 and she was diagnosed with the coronavirus disease ten days after. She recently traveled to the United States and had contact with a known COVID-19 case.

The fourth to recover is a 72-year-old Filipino man from Batangas province. He had been exposed to a known COVID-19 patient and started showing symptoms on March 1.

He tested positive on March 11, and was considered a "severe case" two days after. The DOH did not explain why his condition was deemed severe. It only disclosed that he is hypertensive.

He was discharged from the hospital on Saturday, asymptomatic, and with two negative results for COVID-19 infection.

Another patient to recover recently is a 35-year-old Filipino woman from Rizal province. She has asthma. The DOH said she first showed symptoms on March 1 and was confirmed to be infected on March 13.

She was given a clean bill of health last Sunday.

Worldwide, eight in ten, or around 80 percent, of infected patients experience "mild illness" and eventually recover from COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization. Some 14 percent experience severe illness while 5 percent were critically ill, the WHO said.

The most commonly reported symptoms are fever, dry cough and shortness of breath.

The disease has killed more than 11,500 people, mostly in Italy, although the outbreak began in Wuhan, China in December last year. Over 277,000 people have been infected, according to the Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 global tracker.

Also on Saturday, the Philippines reported 77 new cases of the coronavirus disease – the biggest single-day increase since the outbreak began in January. Of the country's 307 COVID-cases, 19 have died, majority of them are Filipinos aged 40 to 86.

President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the entire Luzon area under enhanced community quarantine, restricting people's movement, to contain the spread of COVID-19.

To prevent infection, authorities are urging people to practice regular hand washing, cover their mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and avoid close contact with those who exhibit virus symptoms.