ANOTHER Filipino in Hong Kong tested positive for the new coronavirus strain, bringing the total confirmed cases to three, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Thursday.
“The Filipino national, who is currently confined in a hospital in isolation and undergoing tests, is said to be asymptomatic,” DFA said in a statement.
The Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Hong Kong said the patient had asked that her identity be kept confidential.
The two other Filipinos earlier reported to have been infected have recovered and would be discharged. All three Filipinos contracted the virus from their employers.
“This brings the total active coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) positive Filipinos in Hong Kong down to one,” the agency said.
Meanwhile, DFA is coordinating with the PCG in San Francisco after reports that the US Centers of Disease Control will place about 100 guests and crew members of Princess Cruises under further tests.
“We’re confirming the details with the companies involved and with our consulate in San Francisco,” Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Eduardo Martin R. Meñez told reporters by teleconference.
In a March 4 statement, Princess Cruises said the US agency had identified guests and crews, including those in transit, who have experienced flu-like symptoms and those under care for respiratory illness.
“To facilitate this testing, the US Coast Guard will deliver sampling kits to the ship in the morning of March 5 via helicopter,” it said in statement posted on its website.
“Our onboard medical team will administer the test and the samples will be sent in batches by helicopter to a lab in Richmond, California, across the bay from San Francisco.”
Princess Cruises’ M/V Diamond, which carried more than 500 Filipinos, had been placed on a 14-day quarantine in Yokohama.
The Philippines has not reported a coronavirus infection for weeks and only three people have been confirmed to have been infected, all Chinese nationals from Wuhan City, where the virus was first detected.
Two of the patients have recovered and one has died, according to the local Health department.
The virus has killed more than 3,200 people and sickened about 95,000 more, mostly in China, according to the World Health Organization. — Charmaine A. Tadalan