Published: 17:13, January 30, 2020 | Updated: 08:29, June 6, 2023
India, Philippines report first cases of coronavirus
By Xinhua

People wearing masks are seen outside an isolation ward opened as a preventative measure following the novel coronavirus outbreak, at the North Bengal Medical college and Hospital in Siliguri, India, on Jan 28, 2020. (DIPTENDU DUTTA / AFP)

NEW DELHI/MANILA - One person tested positive Thursday for the novel coronavirus in southern Indian state of Kerala, India's health ministry said. Separately in Manila, the Philippines' health secretary confirmed the country's first case of the virus.

"One positive case of novel coronavirus patient, of a student studying in Wuhan University, has been reported in Kerala," reads a statement issued by India's federal health ministry.

"The patient has tested positive for novel coronavirus and is in isolation in the hospital."

The confirmed case in India's Kerala is a student studying at Wuhan University, while the patient in the Philippines is a 38-year-old Chinese woman who arrived from Wuhan via Hong Kong

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The ministry's officials said the patient was in a stable condition and being closely monitored. 

Meanwhile in Manila, Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque said at a news conference that the patient is a 38-year-old Chinese woman who had arrived in the Philippines from Wuhan via Hong Kong on Jan 21.

The woman was admitted to a government hospital on Jan 25 after experiencing a mild cough, he said.

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"She is currently asymptomatic, which means she has no fever and no other signs and symptoms suggesting illness at this point," Duque added.

He said the Department of Health "continues to guarantee the public that all necessary precautionary measures are being taken to hold the spread of the virus." 

The Chinese woman is among the 23 "persons under investigation" (PUIs) or patients, mostly Chinese nationals, in Metro Manila, central Philippines and northern Mindanao in the southern Philippines.