2 more Filipinos under quarantine in Tarlac showing coronavirus symptoms

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 28) — Two more Filipinos quarantined at the New Clark City in Tarlac are exhibiting symptoms linked to coronavirus, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Friday.

The two Filipinos from the cruise ship docked in Japan due to numerous coronavirus cases, were brought to the hospital on Friday after complaining of sore throat.

Their swab tests will be sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

DOH reported on Thursday that three other Filipinos from the ship showed flu-like symptoms. Of the three, two already tested negative. The other one who was admitted to the hospital awaits his test result from the RITM.

Duque said that if anyone from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tests positive while they were quarantined in Tarlac, it won't be considered local transmission because they most likely contracted the virus inside the vessel.

Over 700 passengers and staff of the Diamond Princess were infected during their mandatory 14-day quarantine inside the vessel docked in Yokohama.

The five who exhibited symptoms after returning to the country are part of the 458 Filipinos, mostly crew members, brought home from the ship in Japan to New Clark City to undergo another phase of quarantine.

All those under quarantine are monitored twice a day to see if any of them would develop flu-like symptoms. Once any of them would exhibit signs and symptoms, they would be immediately referred to designated hospitals.

Seventy Filipino crew members of the Diamond Princess who tested positive for the coronavirus remain admitted in hospitals in Tokyo, Japan. Eight of the 10 who have recovered returned to the Philippines and were placed under monitoring, Duque said.

The Philippines has only three confirmed cases of coronavirus. Two have recovered, while one died.

There are only 30 patients under investigation.

"We are observing a steady decrease in the number of PUIs (patients under investigation) admitted in our health facilities and DOH is bent on sustaining this downward trend. While there is a looming prospect of positive COVID-19 cases among our repatriated kababayans, we call on everyone to continue to be vigilant partners of DOH in keeping the threat of COVID-19 at bay," Duque said.