On Friday, the governor of Negros Oriental said all tourists from mainland China will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the province.
This, after officials confirmed that the first case of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the Philippines recently visited the provincial city of Dumaguete.
In the quarantine order Gov. Roel Degamo also included travelers from Hong Kong, China’s special administrative area.
A 38-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan, China — the epicenter of the outbreak — was confirmed to be infected with the virus following a laboratory test in Australia, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Thursday.
DOH spokesman Eric Domingo said the woman flew to Hong Kong from Wuhan and then hopped on a Cebu flight. She then made a flight to Dumaguete, then to Manila from there.
The woman took flights from Cebu Pacific, Cebgo, and Philippine Airlines throughout that voyage respectively, Domingo said.
Officials said they are seeking flight passengers who have come in close contact with the Chinese woman. Officials have to track passengers who were up to 4 seats away from the patient for each of these flights, DOH head Francisco Duque III said.
The death toll from the new coronavirus in China reached 213 on Friday, with global cases rising rapidly in an outbreak that was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO).