Local News


Fears of a deadly strain of coronavirus from Wuhan, China has gripped the world the past few weeks. Just recently, Chinese authorities confirmed that the new coronavirus can be spread from human to human.

In the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) is investigating a suspected case of the new coronavirus in a five-year-old child who arrived from Wuhan in China. Wuhan is the purported source of the new coronavirus which has left at least four people dead and dozens hospitalized.

Before being admitted to a hospital in Cebu City, the child exhibited symptoms of cough and fever. The child later tested positive for a non-specific pancoronavirus.

DOH Secretary Francisco Duque announced in a press conference on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, that the child tested negative for known strains of the coronavirus such as MERS-COv (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) and SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome).

“However, the samples tested positive for the non-specific pancoronavirus assay, thus the specimen has been sent to Australia to identify the specific coronavirus strain,” Duque said.

The test results will be announced in 24 hours after the Australian laboratory received the samples, according to the DOH.

Duque said that the patient is still coughing but is no longer feverish and is now in a stable condition.

According to the World Health Organization, the coronavirus is “a never-before-seen strain belonging to a broad family of viruses ranging from the common cold to more serious illnesses such as SARS.”

Just recently, there were rumors on Facebook of a Chinese tourist and her child who tested positive for coronavirus but escaped before being quarantined. Cebu City recently held the Sinulog festival and the rumors sparked fears that the disease might spread within the locality due to the influx of local and foreign tourists.

Philippine health authorities are taking measures to prevent the new coronavirus from entering the country by checking tourists upon their arrival in airports.

Source: When in Manila