Location of the 23 individuals suspected of having the 2019 novel coronavirus being monitored by the DOH nationwide 

The Department of Health (DOH) is currently monitoring twenty-three persons in the country for possible 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) infection. 

17 of the suspected cases are in Metro Manila. Two were reported in Central Visayas, while one suspected case each was reported in Western Visayas, Mimaropa, Eastern Visayas, and Davao, according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) is conducting a series of tests to confirm the condition of the quarantined individuals. 

Meanwhile, six confirmatory tests are still being screened at an Australian laboratory.

“We expect to get [the] results maybe late tomorrow afternoon or early Friday,” Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said.

A Chinese national patient at San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, who tested positive for HIV, died Wednesday due to pneumonia. The DOH has yet to determine if the patient was infected with 2019-nCov.

As of press time, almost 6,000 2019-nCov cases were reported in China while fatalities spiked to 132, as reported by its national health commission.

The DOH assured the country that the Philippines is still free from the deadly virus. (RJ Espartinez)