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BI locates kin of Chinese man infected with coronavirus

January 24, 2020 - Friday 11:01 PM by PNA

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MANILA -- Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday said immigration officials have tracked down the Chinese family suspected to be carriers of the 2019 new coronavirus (nCOV) who traveled to Manila from Hong Kong.

"We may refer them to the BoQ (Bureau of Quarantine)," Guevarra told newsmen.

Guevarra also said the BoQ will take measures to restrict the movement of the family.

"I will direct the BI and the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) to find the people they have interacted within our country," Guevarra said.

In a statement, BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said they have verified the records of the Chinese family.

“(Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente) has ordered a verification of our records in order to provide information and assist the DOH in locating said Chinese nationals. We have identified the subjects, as well as extracted their address from our database,” the BI official added.

However, Sandoval refused to disclose their identities.

“We are, however, unable to share further details to the public as we will be forwarding this information to the Bureau of Quarantine for their information and their monitoring,” she said.

Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post reported that the family arrived in Manila from the island onboard Cebu Pacific flight 5J111 on Wednesday.

Hong Kong's Health Ministry said one member of the family, a 39-year-old man, was stopped after he tested positive for the 2019-nCOV, the first case of the virus in the Special Administrative Region.

The man was taken to an isolation ward at Princess Margaret Hospital and is reportedly in stable condition.

On Thursday, the death toll from the disease has risen to 17 while 400 have been affected by the virus, which purportedly originated from Wuhan City in central China.

The Department of Health said common signs of coronavirus infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. (With reports from Ferdinand Patinio/PNA)