Philippines reports first coronavirus death outside China

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Philippine Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said in a statement that the Philippine Government has already implemented a temporary travel ban for travelers coming from China, Macao, and Hong Kong. (PIA photo)

The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) has reported the first coronavirus death in the Philippines — a country that many Guam residents travel to and visit.

This represents the first coronavirus death outside China, which is the epicenter of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

The fatality was one of two tested positive by Philippine DOH for the 2019-nCoV.

The two confirmed cases are a 38-year-old Chinese female and her companion, a 44-year-old Chinese male who were both admitted for isolation and supportive treatment at a hospital in Manila.

Both patients are from Wuhan, China and arrived in the Philippines via Hong Kong last Jan. 21, 2020. The second confirmed case was admitted for pneumonia last Jan. 25, 2020 after experiencing fever, cough, and sore throat.

DOH confirmed that the 44-year-old male died on Feb. 1, 2020. Over the course of the patient’s admission, DOH reported that he developed severe pneumonia due to viral and bacterial infections.

Stable then sudden deterioration

In his last few days, DOH reported that the patient was stable and showed signs of improvement. However, the condition of the patient deteriorated within his last 24 hours resulting in his death.

“I would like to emphasize that this is an imported case with no evidence of local transmission. We are currently working with the Chinese Embassy to ensure the dignified management of the remains according to national and international standards to contain the disease,” Philippine Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said in a statement.

The Philippine government has already implemented a temporary travel ban for travelers coming from China, Macao, and Hong Kong.

Here on Guam, GovGuam has also taken steps against the coronavirus, suspending entry to the island of any non-U.S. citizens who, in the 14 days prior to their arrival, were physically present within the People’s Republic of China.

GovGuam is also preparing for the possible implementation of quarantine plans should there be local requirements to implement the policy.

U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and family members of U.S. citizens will be allowed entry but will require a 14-day quarantine.

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