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PH military reports first confirmed case of COVID-19

By: Frances G. Mangosing - Inquirer.net | March 24,2020 - 04:21 PM

MANILA, Philippines — A senior military officer has been tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019, in what is said to be the first confirmed case of the rapidly-spreading disease within the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

It was not clear where he contracted the virus, but the star-rank officer, who was not identified, has a history of foreign travel.

AFP chief Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. said in a statement Tuesday that the senior officer and his wife were admitted to the V. Luna Medical Center in Quezon City last March 15.

“They have been undergoing proper medical management with the military officer now being asymptomatic,” he said.

“They will continue medical treatment until fully recovered and strictly following DOH (Department of Health)-imposed protocol for COVID-19 patients,” Santos said.

The senior military officer is assigned at the General Headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo, according to sources.

ontact tracing has already been carried out. Some have put themselves in self-quarantine.

Early this month, the AFP had instituted precautionary measures for its personnel in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the suspension of foreign travels “except when necessary.”

The deputy chief of staff for personnel has issued guidelines to maximize work from home measures for civilian human resources, while military personnel must remain inside camp to ensure that other security operations are unaffected, Santos said.

Data seen by INQUIRER.net showed that there are currently about 1,300 military personnel and dependents considered as patients under monitoring and around 100 patients under investigation as of March 22. Most are undergoing self-quarantine while about a dozen are confined in the hospital.

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