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DOH: Foreigners who tested positive for COVID-19 after travel to PH possibly contracted virus from other countries

People wearing face masks walk inside a subway station, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Shanghai, China February 17, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said that the two foreign nationals — Japanese and Taiwanese — who tested positive from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after traveling to the Philippines, most likely contracted the virus from other countries.

READ: Two individuals tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan, Australia after travel to PH

In a press briefing, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that a 38-year-old Taiwanese man who traveled in the country from February 28 to March 3 only showed symptoms for diarrhea on March 2, pointing that the patient already had the infection even before he traveled to the country.

“He developed abdominal discomfort and diarrhea on March 2 and experienced sore throat, fever, and malaise on March 3. The patient consulted at an outpatient clinic in Taiwan on March 4 and was confirmed positive for COVID-19 on March 5. The onset of symptoms on March 2 points to possible infection before the patient traveled to the Philippines,” Duque said.

Meanwhile, the 44-year-old Japanese man, who visited the Philippines from February 21 to 28, also tested positive for the deadly virus. However, Duque noted that the individual also visited Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand before returning to Japan.

“The extensive travel history of the patient suggests possible contraction of the disease in another country,” Duque stated.

On the other hand, DOH is still studying the case of the Australian woman in her 60’s who also tested positive for coronavirus after attending a wedding in Manila on February 13 and visiting Pangasinan on March 2.

Duque added that they are verifying the information with the International Health Regulation National Focal Point Australia.

On the same day, DOH confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 in the country, with one from a possible local transmission.

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


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