By Neil Jerome Morales
MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines said on Saturday it had confirmed its first case of community transmission for the new coronavirus, prompting health ministry officials to call on the president to declare a public health emergency to contain its spread.
The case involves a 62-year-old male Filipino who had not traveled abroad recently. His 59-year-old wife has also been infected, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian nation to six, the health ministry said, adding that both are being treated at a government hospital.
The health ministry declared a code red alert which calls on medical professionals to be prepared to report for duty and recommended that President Rodrigo Duterte declare a public health emergency which would help with the procurement of critical supplies as well as with quarantine…