The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed four new cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 10.
According to the DOH website, out of the four new cases, one is a Taiwanese male, 38, with no history of travel outside the country but had contact with a fellow Taiwanese who also tested positive for the virus in Taiwan. Another, a Filipino male, 32, traveled to Japan 14 days ago, while the third is an American male, 86, with preexisting conditions and past travel to the U.S.A. and South Korea. The fourth patient is another Filipino male, 57, with no travel history but contact with another victim. The DOH is currently studying the latter's case.
All four are currently being treated in private hospitals.
As the officials are carefully assessing the situation, including those in contact with the new victims, the Department of Health is currently asking for everyone's cooperation.
Despite the sudden jump of new cases (from two to six within the last few days), the public is encouraged to not panic and continue precautions such as washing hands, practicing proper hygiene, and social distancing.
Infectious diseases expert Edsel Salvaña, M.D., DTM&H, FPCP, FIDSA, who has written much about prevention and precautions against COVID-19, posted on his Facebook page: "Based on the Chinese experience, the only thing that seems to have a major impact on transmission is social distancing...We need to think of preemptive social distancing now if we want to have a chance to contain [the outbreak]. If this happens, PLEASE follow instructions and understand that a sacrifice is being asked of everyone FOR THE GREATER GOOD."
He added: "Now is the time to help each other by putting our individual impulses aside and being proactive. Filipinos have shown tremendous resilience through the years, be it typhoon, earthquake or volcano. No virus can defeat us."
*This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.