KALIBO, Aklan (TO UPDATE)– A flight attendant is in “quarantine” at Kalibo International Airport after showing symptoms of coronavirus, said a health official.
The 24-year-old unidentified flight attendant traveled to the city of Wuhan, China, where the new coronavirus strain was first detected.
Dr. Cornelo Cuachon, from the Aklan provincial health office, said the flight attendant underwent a medical check-up.
“May’s story of coughing and coughing in Wuhan City, but confined lang naman siya sa eroplano. Hindi naman siya bumaba, kaya na admit siya and na alta din siya kanina,” Cuachon said.
(She has a history of travel in Wuhan City, but was confined to the plane. She didn’t get off the plane, was admitted and finally discharged.)
The health workers extracted samples, which will be sent to the Tropical Medicine Research Institute (RITM) of the Department of Health (DOH) in Region 6, to determine if they will test positive for the virus.
Two Chinese citizens who were quarantined before at the Kalibo airport due to the suspicious symptoms of a new coronavirus were cleared by health officials, who said foreigners did not test positive for the disease.
“Its signs and symptoms do not qualify as a new coronavirus,” Cuachon said.
Several airports in Asia-Pacific have tightened security measures for travelers, especially from China after authorities said the virus, which has infected some 440 people in Asia’s largest economy, could mutate and be transmitted through of the respiratory tract.
China said Wednesday that the virus similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that killed nine people, infected hundreds in China and spread to other countries could mutate, as authorities struggled to contain the disease during the travel season of the Lunar New Year.
The new coronavirus has caused alarm because of its similarity with SARS, which killed nearly 650 people in mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
The new coronavirus is transmitted through the respiratory tract and “there is a possibility of viral mutation and further spread of the disease,” said Deputy Minister of the National Health Commission, Li Bin, at a press conference in Beijing.
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