Philippine coronavirus cases breach 56,200

The total number of confirmed cases in the Philippines rose to 56,259 as of Sunday, July 12, following 2,124 cases newly-reported from across the country.

The Department of Health gave the updated figures for Sunday on Monday morning, July 13, after health officials failed to deliver an update on Sunday itself – a first since the outbreak started.

The newly reported cases include 1,690 fresh cases and 434 late cases. Fresh cases cover test results released to patients in the last 3 days while late cases refer to results released to patients 4 or more days ago.

The number of deaths grew to 1,534 on Sunday, after 162 new fatalities were reported. The DOH said the deaths go as far back as May, when 20 occurred, while 90 deaths occurred in June and another 51 took place in July.

Of the 56,259 known cases, the DOH said 38,679 were active cases.

Increase continues

This is now the 10th day the DOH had been tallying over 1,000 confirmed coronavirus infections daily.

The DOH earlier attributed the rise in cases to a number of factors, which included increased testing capacity, though it also warned there was sustained community transmission of the disease due to increased contact and mobility among populations seen as quarantine restrictions were eased.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told the public to expect an increase in deaths, and recoveries as the health department enhance its data collection and management system.

Bergerie likewise appealed to the public to continue to strictly follow health protocols to prevent death curves returning to the high number of fatalities seen in March.

These health practices include always wearing a mask when out in public spaces, practicing frequent hand washing, staying home, and practicing physical distancing. Experts and studies note that observing these practices can greatly reduce the risk of contracting and spreading the disease.

DOH confirms 2 new Coronavirus cases in the Philippines

The Philippines now has five confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed Friday, March 6.

The two new cases involved a 48-year-old and 62-year-old Filipinos, both male.

The 48-year-old Filipino recently visited Tokyo, Japan and returned to the Philippines on February 25. He experienced chills and fever on March 3 and was tested positive for Covid-19 on March 5.

“He is currently stable and admitted at the RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine),” said DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III.

The 62-year-old Filipino, on the other hand, is suffering from severe pneumonia. He has hypertension and diabetes mellitus and he experienced cough last February 25.

He sought medical consultation last March 1 in a hospital in Manila and was admitted to the RITM. Specimens were collected on March 4 and he tested positive for the new virus on March 5, added Duque.

The DOH said contact tracing is now being done for the two new cases and samples have already been collected from those who had close contacts with the fourth and fifth cases.

Local transmission

Duque said the fifth case has no known history of travel outside the country, but stressed that it is still premature to say that there is local or community transmission in the Philippines.

“There is no transmission to speak of as of yet because we only have one. That’s why we are doing contact tracing so as to establish whether or not there are cases or clustering of cases. But now, it’s premature to say there is a local transmission,” said Duque.

“As soon as we do get confirmation of more positive cases, that’s the time that we can say there is the local transmission,” he added.

World Health Organization Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, however, believes that local transmission may have already occurred in the country.

“Even the fifth case is a local transmission. But getting another case in very close contact does not mean widespread transmission. We know that this disease is transmitted upon close contact,” Abeyasinghe said.

Contact tracing

Duque said the fifth case is known to have regularly visited a Muslim prayer hall in Barangay Greenhills, San Juan City, Manila, thus the DOH called on previous visitors of the prayer hall who are presenting fever and respiratory symptoms to call the DOH hotline (02) 8-651-7800 local 1149 to 1150 for proper referral to appropriate health facility.

“DOH is also in close coordination with the concerned local government units for concerted action on identifying persons who had interaction with the confirmed cases and strengthening infection prevention and control protocols,” Duque said.

“The priority intervention is contact tracing. We will have to wait for the results of the contact tracing and coordination with local government units,” he added.

DOH Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, for her part, said one relative and close contact of the fifth case already showed symptoms of the new virus and has already been admitted.

“We already have one relative, which has been with the patient all throughout, who has experienced symptoms and is now with him in our referral hospital. The specimen was collected and we’re just awaiting results,” said Vergeer.

“These recent developments are significant but we are prepared to respond to its potential consequences. Our priority is to protect our health workers and the most vulnerable populations. We can still contain the spread of the virus in the country, that is why we are encouraging the public to practice proper handwashing, social distancing, and cough etiquette,” Duque said.

He also called on the public to be vigilant and continue to do their part in containing the disease.

The Philippines’ first three confirmed cases involved three Chinese nationals.

The first two cases were a 38-year-old female Chinese national and his 44-year-old boyfriend who visited Cebu, Dumaguete, and Manila in January. The boyfriend died in Manila due to severe pneumonia.

The third case involved a 60-year-old Chinese national who traveled to Bohol and Cebu.

Both the 38-year-old and 60-year-old patients were discharged from hospitals after they tested negative for the virus.

Death toll 260 of CORONAVIRUS in China

The United States toughened its stance Friday by declaring a national emergency, temporarily barring entry to foreigners who had been in China within the past two weeks.

With Britain, Russia, and Sweden among the countries confirming their first infections, the virus has now spread to more than two dozen nations, sending governments scurrying to limit their exposure.

China faced deepening isolation over its coronavirus epidemic on Saturday as the death toll soared to 259, with the United States leading a growing list of nations to impose extraordinary Chinese travel bans.

“Foreign nationals, other than the immediate family of US citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled in China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the United States for this time,” Health Secretary Alex Azar said.

That follows similar steps by countries including Italy, Singapore, and China’s northern neighbor Mongolia.

The United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, and other nations already had advised their citizens not to travel to China.

Beijing, which insists it can contain the virus, began to show impatience over the growing ostracism, with the foreign ministry calling Washington’s earlier advice against travel to China “unkind”.

“Certainly it is not a gesture of goodwill,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

The US emergency declaration also requires Americans returning from the ground zero Chinese province of Hubei to be placed in mandatory 14-day quarantine, and health screening for US citizens coming from other parts of China.

The virus emerged in early December and has been traced to a market in Hubei’s capital Wuhan that sold wild animals.

It then jumped to humans and spread globally on the wings of a Lunar New Year holiday rush that sees hundreds of millions of Chinese people travel domestically and overseas.

With public anger mounting in China, Wuhan’s top official admitted late Friday that authorities there had acted too slowly.

“If strict control measures had been taken earlier the result would have been better than now,” Ma Guoqiang, the Communist Party chief for Wuhan, told state media.

Ma said he was “in a state of guilt, remorse, and self-reproach.”

Wuhan officials have been criticized online for withholding information about the outbreak until late December despite knowing of it weeks earlier.

China finally lurched into action more than a week ago, effectively quarantining whole cities in Hubei and tens of millions of people.

The rest of the country has been essentially put on a war footing.

The unprecedented safeguards imposed nationwide include extending the holiday, postponing school restarts and tight health screening on travelers nationwide.

But the toll keeps mounting at an ever-increasing pace, with health authorities on Saturday saying 46 more people had died in the preceding 24 hours, all but one in Hubei.

Another 2,102 new infections also were confirmed, bringing the total to nearly 12,000 — far higher than the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome outbreak of 2002-03.

SARS, which is similar to the new coronavirus and also originated in China, killed 774 people worldwide, most in China or Hong Kong.

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global emergency on Thursday but did not advise international trade or travel restrictions.

It warned Friday that closing borders were probably ineffective in halting transmission and could accelerate the virus’s spread.

But authorities around the world pressed ahead with preventive measures.

Citing a likely “sharper rise” in infections, Singapore on Friday barred arrivals and transit passengers from mainland China.

Mongolia on Saturday toughened earlier restrictions by implementing a ban on any arrivals from its huge southern neighbor until March 2.

Impoverished Papua New Guinea went so far as to bar all visitors from “Asian ports” last week.

Adding to concerns over combatting the contagion, Thai health officials on Friday said a taxi driver became the kingdom’s first case of human-to-human transmission.

Thailand joins China, Germany, Japan, France, and the United States with confirmed domestic infections.

The health crisis has dented China’s international image, putting Chinese nationals in difficult positions abroad, amid complaints of racism.

The first CORONAVIRUS in the Philippines confirmed

MANILA, Philippines on Thursday confirmed its first case of the 2019 novel coronavirus

In a press conference, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said a 38-year-old Chinese patient from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, was confirmed to be infected with the virus following a laboratory test in Australia.

The woman arrived in Manila via Hong Kong on Jan. 21. She is now in an undisclosed government hospital.

The patient came in for a checkup on Jan. 25 after experiencing mild cough, Duque said.

The patient sought to consult and was admitted to one of the country’s government hospitals last Jan. 25 after experiencing a mild cough.

She is currently asymptomatic… which means she has no fever, and no other signs and symptoms suggesting illness at this point,” he said.

He said health authorities were working closely with the hospital where the patient is confined.

The hospital’s “incident command system” has been activated for “infection control, case management, and containment,” he added.

“We are also implementing measures to protect the health staff providing care to this patient,” Duque said.

The health chief said the DOH “continues to guarantee the public that all necessary precautionary measures are being taken to halt the spread of the virus.”

“I assure the public that the DOH is on top of this evolving situation. We were able to detect the first confirmed case because of our strong surveillance system, close coordination with the World Health Organization and other national agencies, and the utilization of DOH’s decision tool, or the evaluation assessment tool,” he said.

Chito Avelino, director of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, said health authorities have begun contact-tracing or tracking people who may have been exposed to the patient.

The patient was known to have also traveled to the cities of Cebu and Dumaguete.

He said they would trace details of the woman’s flights and track passengers who were seated close to her.

“For the plane, we do the rules of 4 – that means, we need to identify four passengers in front, four passengers at the back, and four passengers on both sides [of the patient]. Then we contact these passengers and advise them accordingly,” Avelino said.

He said health authorities would also look at places where she stayed to determine people who had contact with the patient.

“And from there, do the mandatory quarantine to observe them if ever they will manifest any signs and symptoms of respiratory infection,” he added.

Some 23 other individuals are under investigation for the virus and are still in the hospital, while 5 have been discharged but are under strict monitoring, Duque said.

Another patient under investigation died on Wednesday, he said.

A Chinese man checked for the 2019-nCoV died of pneumonia at the San Lazaro Hospital on Wednesday.

It has not been confirmed if the patient, who was from Yunnan, China, also carried the virus.

Duque called for calm amid the first confirmed 2019-nCoV case in the country.

“… I urge the public to stay calm and remain vigilant at all times. Let us continue to practice good personal hygiene, and indeed adopt healthy lifestyles,” he said.

The 2019-now has killed at least 170 and infected nearly 8,000, spreading from its epicenter in Wuhan, China to several countries in Asia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East.

Its symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties, according to the World Health Organization.

To better protect the country from the virus, the Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration earlier suspended the issuance of visas upon arrival for Chinese nationals.

Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash

Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, Sunday morning, His daughter, Gianna, was also on board as was another player and parent en route to a travel basketball game, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli also died in the crash, the Orange County Register reported. Altobelli’s wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, were also on board, according to a CNN interview with Altobelli’s brother.

There were nine people on board in total, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department announced, with no survivors.
Bryant dies in a helicopter crash.

Bryant played his entire 20-year career for the Los Angeles Lakers and won five NBA championships prior to retiring in 2016.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to reports of a helicopter that crashed into a hillside and caught fire, NBC Los Angeles reported.

The helicopter, a Sikorsky S-76, crashed under unknown circumstances, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. An investigation is ongoing.

CNN’s transportation expert said the flight data shows the helicopter tightly circling downtown Los Angeles before heading out to Calabasas.

It departed John Wayne International Airport and followed U.S.

Route 101 before turning left toward the Calabasas hills, per a compiled Aviation Safety Network report.

Flighttrader shared the path on Twitter and Eric Leonard of NBC Los Angeles has the radar track.

Kobe’s daughter, Gianna, reportedly on board
Gianna is also a basketball player and coached by her dad.

He proudly spoke about his daughter and what she would bring to her own legacy on the Jimmy Kimmel show in October 2018.
Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, had four daughters together: Gianna, Natalia (age 17), Bianca (3) and Capri, who was born in June 2019.

College baseball coach dies in crash
OCC assistant coach Ron La Ruffa confirmed that Altobelli was on board and died in the crash, per the OC Register.

Altobelli’s wife and daughter were also reportedly on board.

Gathering at Orange Coast College for John Altobelli. OCC baseball coach. He was on that helicopter with #Kobe

Steve Fryer (@SteveFryer) January 26, 2020
Altobelli was to begin his 24th season as the college’s baseball coach.