By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
The Department of Health (DOH) said they have yet to receive information if the 2019-novel coronavirus can indeed be transmitted by air.
In a press briefing in Malacañang Monday, Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo said there was still no evidence that supports reports of aerosol transmission of the virus.
“Wala pa pong ganoong information na (There’s no information that the) disease [can be] transmitted by aerosol or by air. So yun pong (the) risk of getting [the] infection by air transmission, by aerosol, is wala pa pong scientific basis at wala pa po kaming nakukuhang report (has no scientific basis as of now and we have not received any report on that),” he said.
“We’ve been in contact with experts at Geneva and we are raising all these concerns maski medyo nakakatawa (no matter how funny it is) from the medical point of view. But hindi po namin pinapalampas (we are not disregarding anything), we are throwing it to them, and wala po. Wala pa pong ganoon (so far there are no reports like that),” he added.
China Daily said in a report over the weekend that Shanghai officials revealed that the 2019-nCoV ARD can be transmitted via air. However, Xinhua News Agency said that there was no evidence that the virus can be transmitted via aerosol.
In its report, Xinhua quoted Feng Luzhao, a researcher of infectious diseases with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, saying the 2019-nCoV normally does not suspend or float in the air for long.
It was earlier reported that the virus is mainly transmitted via respiratory droplets and contact.
The DOH said there were 37,558 cases of the 2019-nCoV ARD all over the world as of February 9, 2020. Of the said figure, 813 have died and 812 of those were from China. The case fatality rate was reported to be at 2.16 percent.
The Philippines recorded its first case, a Chinese woman from Wuhan, China, of the 2019-nCoV ARD late last month. Last week, the country reported the third positive case of the virus, a 60-year-old Chinese woman who is also from the reported origin of the virus.
The Philippines likewise saw the first fatality outside China with the death of a 44-year-old Chinese patient from Wuhan on February 1.