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

People hoard bottles of alcohol after the Philippine government confirmed the first case of the new coronavirus in the country, in Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

The Philippines on Friday confirmed two new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), with one contracted from local transmission, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to five.

The announcement of the Department of Health (DOH) came a day after it was reported that three individuals from Taiwan, Australia and Japan, who previously traveled to the Philippines, all tested positive for coronavirus disease.

In a press conference, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that one of the new cases of the deadly virus in the country is a 48-year-old male Filipino who previously traveled to Japan.

The patient arrived in the Philippines last February 25 and started exhibiting flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills starting March 3.

Two days after, the patient tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the fifth case is a 52-year-old Filipino who had no traveling history outside the country and is said to have regularly visited a Muslim prayer hall in Barangay Greenhills, San Juan City. The patient, with known hypertension and diabetes, started experiencing cough last February 25.

He was later on admitted to a Manila hospital last March 1 due to severe pneumonia.

As of posting, both patients are currently confined at the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM).

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.

This is a developing story. 

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