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DOH creates contact-tracing team after 5 confirmed COVID-19 cases in PH

A resident wearing a face mask waits for relief goods after Mayon Volcano erupted at Camalig, Albay province, south of Manila, Philippines January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday announced the start of contact-tracing to individuals who came in close contact with the 5 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

The statement came after Health Secretary Francisco Duque III confirmed two new cases of COVID-19, with one contracted from local transmission.

Among the new cases of the deadly virus in the country is a 48-year-old male Filipino who previously traveled to Japan and a 52-year-old Filipino who had no traveling history outside the country. Both patients are currently confined at the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang.

READ: Philippines confirms two new coronavirus cases; one contracted from local transmission

Prior to the announcement, three confirmed cases of COVID-19 all came from Wuhan City in China last January. Two of them have recovered and one died.

During the press briefing, Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that they already set up 5 teams to find and monitor the individuals who had physical contact with the confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Vergeire added that they already collected samples from the ‘close contacts’ of the recent coronavirus-positive patients.

The Health Department also tapped the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the airline companies for the said contact-tracing.

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