The statement of the Cardinal Santos Medical Center on the Philippines’ first local case of COVID-19 was welcomed by Filipinos amid the growing skepticism against the government’s updates on the virus cases in the country.
The San Juan-based private hospital said that it took care of the 63-year-old Filipino who was tested positive for the virus before he was transferred and admitted to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City.
“CSMC has taken all the precautionary measures that all those who had contact with the patients have been processed following the protocols of DOH on quarantine, monitoring and observation. So far, all those who have had contact with the patient have no symptoms,” it said on a statement.
“We assure the general public that the healthcare of our patients and employees are our primordial concern. We are committed to take care of them and adhere to the highest standards of infection management considering the DOH guidelines and protocol,” CSMC added.
The country has five cases of COVID-19 so far, based on the Department of Health’s announcement on March 6, Friday.
The first new case is a 48-year-old Filipino who traveled to Japan and returned to the Philippines on February 25. He experienced chills and fever on March 3 and had tested positive for the virus on March 5.
The second new case is considered the country’s first local case of the virus. He is a 62-year-old Filipino who did not have any travel history but had preexisting hypertension and diabetes mellitus.
The man experienced cough with phlegm on February 25. By March 1, he sought medical consultation in a Metro Manila hospital — now known as CSMC — and was admitted with severe pneumonia.
The 63-year-old is known to frequent a Muslim prayer hall in Barangay Greenhills, San Juan City.
DOH said that it is already in the process of tracing people who might have come into contact with the two new cases.
As CSMC released a statement about details on the country’s first local case, the local online community lauded the management for its “transparency” in admitting that it took care of the COVID-19-positive Filipino.
“Thanks for being transparent… Keep safe everyone,” a Facebook user said.
“Thanks for being transparent/the information CSMC,” another user wrote.
“Tnx (thanks) sa info,” commented another online user with a smiling emoji.
This is in contrast to the growing sentiments against the government, particularly DOH, in giving updates about the presence and status of the deadly pathogen in the Philippines.
Last night, Filipinos aired their skepticism on the reports relayed by the agency considering that it was previously reluctant on imposing a travel ban on mainland China, the country where the virus originated.
Some social media users expressed their alarm when reports of foreigners who traveled to the Philippines tested positive of COVID-19 after returning to their respective countries, namely Taiwan, Japan and Australia.
“Taiwan and Australian residents who came back from (Philippines) to their respective countries were tested positive of COVID-19 upon arrival. Hindi kaya marami ng silent virus carriers sa mga Pinoy by this time?” a Twitter user wondered.
“Are we getting too complacent, or are we not testing enough?” another online user asked.
The Philippines previously had three cases of COVID-19. All of them are Chinese nationals who visited the country. Two of them have recovered while the other one died.