Patient under observation in Olongapo negative for COVID-19
Location: Olongapo City, Zambales, Philippines
Date Published: February 17, 2020
Olongapo City’s Task Force confirmed that the person under investigation (PUI) for the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has tested negative for the deadly infection.
Anthony Bayarong, the spokesman of Olongapo COVID-19 Task Force, said that the patient has already been discharged from quarantine Saturday afternoon.
This was announced after the patient’s test results from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) came out negative.
The local task force, however, assured that they will remain vigilant and continue implementing all precautionary measures against infectious diseases.
“We urge the public to maintain proper hygiene,” Bayarong said in a statement, adding “no other offices or person is authorized to issue any information regarding COVID-19 besides the local task force.”
The spokesman made this reminder to avoid the spread of fake news about the disease.
“As we have done from the start, the local task force will continue to be transparent and relay all information to the people of Olongapo,” Bayarong said.
On February 14, the Olongapo COVID-19 Task Force reported that a PUI for COVID-19 has been admitted to a hospital in the city on February 13.
According to an earlier statement, Bayarong said the patient was placed in isolation and was “asymptomatic meaning has no symptoms of COVID-19 and has shown progress, the patient has no more fever and cough.”
Meanwhile, the global spread of the nCoV has caused severe disruptions, not only here in the Philippines but in other countries as well, and more so particularly in China. After all, China is currently recognized as the world’s second-largest economy and a major trading hub for many of the countries around the globe.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez was quoted a few days ago as having assuaged the business sector that the government was “ready to implement monetary and fiscal tools to counter potentially adverse economic fallout” of the nCoV impact to the Philippine economy as a whole. In his testimony last week before the Senate committee on health public hearing on the nCoV, Dominguez admitted frankly the hardest hit of the global infection would be the Philippine tourism sector. The Lower House is set to conduct today its own inquiry into the impact of nCoV on our country's tourism and travel industry.
It is roughly estimated by a local tour operators’ group that as much as P10 billion of potential revenues were being lost as the Philippine government continues to impose a travel ban to and from China, the second-largest tourism market of the Philippines. About 50 percent of reservations in Boracay, Bohol, Cebu, and Palawan have been canceled as of last week, according to Philippine Tour Operators Association president Cesar Cruz.
“Both for inbound and outbound [travel], it would really have a very big effect,” Cruz cited. The nCoV infection and the consequent travel ban heavily impacted the Philippine tourism sector because it came at a time “during the peakest of the peak, which is the Chinese New Year,” Cruz bewailed.
Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat could not agree more. But Puyat is one who does not blink to challenges thrown her way. Last Monday night, Puyat organized a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte along with the major stakeholders and players led by the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP).