The Department of Health confirmed the country’s 6th COVID-19 case soon after the 4th and 5th case was confirmed. It can be recalled that the country has not reported any new case for a month after the initial three cases. This brings together a total of six cases.
Moreover, the agency also confirmed that the 5th case is the first case of local transmission in the country after verification with the Bureau of Immigration showed that the patient had no recent travel history. With this, the patient’s wife also tested positive for COVID-19 after contact tracing activities were prompted.
The 6th case is a 59-year-old female who exhibited cough and was admitted at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine last March 5. To date, the patient is in a stable condition.
“The DOH is currently exhausting all its efforts to identify others who may have come in contact with the confirmed cases to ensure that this localized transmission does not progress to community spread,” states Health Secretary Francsico Duque III.
In line with the confirmation of the first local transmission of COVID-19, the DOH raised the COVID-19 Alert System to Code Red Sublevel 1. With Code Red, the agency has recommended the Office of the President for the declaration of a State of Public Emergency which will facilitate mobilization of resources, ease processes, including procurement of critical logistics and supplies, and intensifying reporting.
“This declaration is a signal to all concerned agencies, Local Government Units, and health care providers to be ready to implement planned response measures. We are continuously reminding everyone to practice personal protective measures such as hand hygiene, social distancing, and proper cough etiquette. Avoid unnecessary travel and postpone mass gatherings, as well. It is our individual responsibility to protect ourselves and the people around us. Only through collective action in our communities will we be able to limit the spread of the virus,”adds Duque.