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Philippines, Hong Kong health officials say no novel coronavirus, step up surveillance

Two Asian countries are taking steps to keep their countries novel coronavirus free after the latest news of cases in the UK and Saudi Arabia in recent weeks.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

In the Philippines, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said Friday,  “Right now, there has been no reported case in the Philippines.”

In light of the recent cases, the Philippines Department of Health (DOH) issued a directive to all hospitals in the country to report suspected cases of the new coronavirus following the reports out of the UK and  the possibility of human-to-human transmission.

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City will be performing confirmatory testing.

In addition, the Bureau of Quarantine has been directed to maintain the routine screening of in-bound passengers, regardless of country of origin, in ports of entry, for any signs of illness that may require temporary isolation in a health facility or at home.

In Hong Kong, officials at the Department of Health (DH) are also monitoring the situation in the UK closely.

“In view of the latest development, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health will seek more information on this case from the WHO and relevant health authorities. The CHP will stay vigilant and continue to work closely with the WHO and overseas health authorities to monitor the latest development of this novel infectious disease,” a DH spokesman said.

Locally, enhanced surveillance and control measures for the disease have been put in place. Starting from today, laboratory surveillance for the novel coronavirus will be further enhanced. For cases of pneumonia with unknown cause, pneumonia cases requiring intensive care, clusters of pneumonia or health-care workers with pneumonia, routine testing for novel coronavirus will be carried out irrespective of travel history.

“The CHP will continue its surveillance mechanism with public and private hospitals, practising doctors and the airport for any suspected cases of severe respiratory disease associated with novel coronavirus,” the spokesman remarked.

“No human infection with this virus has been identified so far in Hong Kong,” the spokesman stressed.

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Hong Kong  Image/CIA

Hong Kong Image/CIA

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Philippines, Hong Kong health officials say no novel coronavirus, step up ... | Hong Kong InformerHong Kong Informer says:

    […] Philippines, Hong Kong health officials say no novel coronavirus, step up … … practising doctors and the airport for any suspected cases of severe respiratory disease associated with novel coronavirus,” the spokesman remarked. “No human infection with this virus has been identified so far in Hong Kong,” the spokesman stressed. Full News here – Read more on The Global Dispatch […]

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