THE Department of Health (DoH) disclosed that a Chinese being investigated on suspicion of having contracted the 2019 novel Coronavirus (nCoV) died on Wednesday morning but pneumonia was listed as the cause of his death at the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila.

"This morning we have a person under investigation, hindi pa confirmed for NCoV, namatay (it's not confirmed if he has nCoV, he died)," said San Lazaro Hospital Director Edmundo Lopez in a press briefing at the Philippine Blood Center in Manila.

Lopez said that upon admission on Monday, the unidentified 29-year-old patient from Wuhan in China had exhibited swelling, had findings in the lungs, and was positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

The patient had cervical lesions, nodules, lung findings and "was basically frail," said Lopez.

The DoH said that as of 12 noon, there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Philippines.

The initial count of 27 suspected cases has gone down to 23, after four patients were discharged although they were still being monitored.

There are 16 screening tests at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and six others in Australia awaiting confirmation of the deadly virus.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd advised the public to "stay calm but vigilant, always practice hand hygiene, observe proper cough etiquette, avoid close contact with people manifesting those symptoms, with farm and wild animals, cook food properly, adapt healthy lifestyle to mount immunity against infection."

Duque assured the public that Philippines was prepared for the threat of NCoV. WITH A REPORT FROM MARK CRUZET