Cainta, Rizal steps up coronavirus measures amid confirmed case

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 7) — The local government of Cainta, Rizal province, has stepped up measures to contain the novel coronavirus after a resident tested positive for the virus.

Cainta Mayor Johnielle Keith Nieto in a Facebook post on Saturday said local authorities have distributed face masks and disinfectants to areas near the residence of the coronavirus patient. The patient's family members have all been placed under quarantine.

"May isang linggo [nang] wala sa bahay ang pasyente pero minabuti pa rin na i-restrict ang paglabas ng mga kasama nito sa bahay base sa direktiba ng [Department of Health]," Nieto said.

He has also ordered the municipal health office to give away masks, vitamins, and disinfectants to other Cainta residents as extra precautionary measure.

In the same Facebook post, he shared screenshots of a post from his wife, Elen Nieto, president of the Filinvest East Homeowners Association, confirming that the patient they were referring to is the 62-year-old Filipino male who was confirmed to be the country's first case involving a coronavirus infection by one without any history of travel abroad.

Still, the Department of Health and the World Health Organization both stressed it was early to say if there is local transmission since there is a single case now.

The man was first confined at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City on March 1 and diagnosed with severe pneumonia. He was confirmed to have the coronavirus disease (or COVID-19) on March 5, and was transferred to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City.

Meanwhile, the San Juan City government has temporarily closed the Muslim prayer hall at Greenhills Shopping Center which was known to be frequented by the patient.

The Philippines now has five confirmed coronavirus cases following DOH's announcement Friday that two Filipinos contracted the virus. The other confirmed case is a 48-year-old man who recently traveled to Tokyo, Japan.

Earlier, three Chinese visitors have been infected with the virus – one of them died, while the remaining two have since recovered and left the country.

The new coronavirus has killed more than 3,400 people, mostly in China, since the outbreak began in Wuhan City in Hubei province in December last year. It has infected over 101,300 people worldwide.

READ: How to protect yourself from coronavirus