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DOH recommends declaration of public health emergency after COVID-19 local transmission

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 3/7/2020 TED CORDERO,GMA News
Francisco Duque holding a microphone: DOH Sec. Francisco Duque III DOH Sec. Francisco Duque III

The Department of Health (DOH) said Saturday it has recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the declaration of public health emergency in light of the confirmation of the first case of local transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country.

"The DOH confirms that the previously reported fifth case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as the first case of local transmission in the country after verification from the Bureau of Immigration showed that the patient had no recent travel history," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a press conference.

In light of the confirmation of COVID-19's localized transmission in the country, Duque said the DOH has raised its alert to Code Red Sub-Level 1.

"With this Code Red, the DOH has recommended to the Office of the President for the declaration of Public Health Emergency which will facilitate mobilization of resources and ease processes, including procurement of critical logistics and supplies and intensifying reporting and quarantine measures," the Health chief said.

The raising of Code Red, Duque said, is a "preemptive call" for both the national government and local governments as well as public and private health care providers to prepare for possible increase in suspected and confirmed cases.

The DOH also confirmed on Saturday that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country has risen to six.

The latest case is the wife of a patient previously confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19 who had no recent travel history, Duque said. —KG, GMA News

This article DOH recommends declaration of public health emergency after COVID-19 local transmission was originally published in GMA News Online.

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