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DOH: Chinese boy in Cebu City tests negative for 2019-nCoV

By: Rosalie Abatayo - CDN Digital | January 25,2020 - 12:00 AM

CEBU CITY, Philippines —The five-year-old Chinese boy who was confined in a hospital in Cebu City for pneumonia-like symptoms has tested negative for the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

This was the announcement issued by the Department of Health on Frisay evening, January 24, 2020, following the release of the laboratory results from the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia.

“The Department of Health (DOH) today announced that samples from the child suspected of being infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) tested negative for the said virus,” the DOH said in a press statement.

The child, who came from Wuhan City in China, arrived in Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) around 2 a.m. on January 12, 2020, and was immediately brought to a hospital around 6 a.m. after manifesting signs of the 2019-nCoV such as fever and cough.

“The Department of Health (DOH) today announced that samples from the child suspected of being infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) tested negative for the said virus,” the health department said.

DOH, in its statement, did not reveal what was the specific strain of the coronavirus that the child earlier tested positive for.

“This is indeed very welcome news to ease the Filipinos’ growing concern. I assure everyone that your Department of Health will not stop here and is on top of this emerging health event. We will continue to monitor the developing situation and ensure mechanisms to contain the threat of the 2019-nCoV,” assured Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III.

Despite the negative test result, Duque said thw health department and other government agencies continue to be on heightened monitoring on the country’s borders to prevent the entry of the 2019-nCoV.

“The Bureau of Quarantine remains on alert and continues to work closely with airlines and airport authorities for stricter border surveillance. DOH has also activated its emergency response and continues to strengthen national-level preparedness, heighten community surveillance, enhance case management and hospital readiness, and intensify information dissemination and community engagement,” the DOH said.

“Let us continue to be vigilant. Always practice hand hygiene, observe proper cough etiquette, avoid close contact with people manifesting flu-like symptoms, avoid contact with farm and wild animals, cook food properly, and adopt healthy lifestyles to mount immunity against infections,” said Duque. /bmjo

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