MANILA — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday reported that the five-year-old boy from China tested positive for a non-specific pancoronavirus has recovered from flu-like symptoms.
“‘Yung bata po, magaling na. Konting ubo, wala na pong lagnat. Kaya merong posibilidad na baka naman talaga ito posibleng novel coronavirus (The child is now well. He has some cough but no more fever. So, there’s a possibility that this may not be a novel coronavirus case),” Duque said in a media forum in Manila City.
As the Department of Health (DOH) is still waiting for the test results from the Victorian Infectious Diseases References Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia, Duque said the boy remains in isolation in a medical facility in Cebu City.
On Tuesday, the DOH said it was looking into a suspected case of novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV since the boy tested positive for “non-specific pancoronavirus assay” and was from Wuhan, China where the disease originated.
Duque said there are six known strains of coronavirus to date, including the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
“The other four are thought to be the ones causing common colds, much less clinical manifestations. There is a possibility that this novel coronavirus might be one of the four, pending precise identification, it could be the seventh coronavirus and that’s why they’re referring to it as the ‘novel’,” he added.
Since the virus is characterized by flu-like symptoms, Duque advised the public to take appropriate medicines like analgesics and paracetamol if they have contracted the virus.
“Mga nakakatanda at nakakabata ang karaniwang tatamaan ng sakit na ito dahil sa mahina ang kanilang resistensiya kaya ugaliin ang paghuhugas ng kamay. Dahil ito ay air-borne, magdala lagi ng panyo o N95 mask pantakip sa ilong at bibig (The elderly and the children usually suffer from the disease because they have a weak immune system so handwashing must be practiced. Since it is air-borne, always bring a handkerchief or N95 mask to cover the nose and mouth),” he added.
Duque also reported that the DOH’s Bureau of Quarantine already placed additional thermal scanners at the airports to identify immediately possible carriers of the virus.
Citing the upcoming Chinese New Year, Duque said the DOH can provide more thermal scanners if the need arises since there is already procurement for the new machines. Ma. Teresa Montemayor /PNA – northboundasia.com