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Signs of hope in the midst of novel coronavirus 

By: Attorney Ruphil Bañoc February 07,2020 - 08:42 AM

The circumstances surrounding the third case of novel coronavirus in the country can be likened to a man trapped in a cave, dark and deep, yet seeing a light that shines from a far distance.

The Department of Health (DOH) announced the third case of novel coronavirus that involved a 60-year-old Chinese national from Wuhan, China. She boarded via Cebu pacific flight 5J 241 from Hong Kong to Mactan Cebu International Airport last January 20, 2020.

From the airport, she together with her four other companions boarded a car that has yet to be identified to pier 1 in Cebu City. They then took the 5:30 a.m. trip of Ocean Jet from Cebu City to Tagbilaran City in Bohol on the same day.

She checked in at a hotel somewhere in Panglao, Bohol and stayed there as she was not feeling well as per DOH report. On January 22, she sought for a medical check-up as she was not feeling well. The health authorities in Bohol confined him in the hospital after showing symptoms of the nCoV. 

There were swab samples collected from the patient dated January 23 and 24. The latest samples were sent to the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australlia and to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM)  in Muntinlupa City. Both yielded negative results that prompted the DOH to discharge the patient from the hospital and given permission to go back to China on the 31st.

When RITM acquired the equipment to determine the novel coronavirus, it decided to test the January 23 sample specimen of the patient. This time it resulted to positive. Hence, DOH concluded that this was the third case of ncov in the country. 

It’s true that the third case announcement added to the worries of the Filipinos, especially to Cebuanos, knowing that all the three nCoV patients landed in Cebu before going to their respective destinations. The couple from Wuhan City served as the first and second cases with the male recorded as the first fatality outside China.

However, the DOH analysis in the third case was that the patient was positive of coronavirus as shown on the January 23 sample result but recovered on the following day, January 24. Yes, recovered, as results both from Australlia and RITM supported the data of recovery.

While the announcement means additional burden on the part of the DOH because of contact tracing of people who interacted with the patient, yet it gives light and hope that one has recovered. There are ways to recover despite no vaccine against the virus has yet to be discovered.

This is consistent with the hundreds of people who recovered from the illness in China and other countries. Although the percentage is slim in comparison to the fatality and the thousands infected, hope stays

While we are optimistic that a vaccine to counter the virus could be developed by medical experts soon, as early as now, we already see the lights that signify hope as regards this calamity./dbs

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