MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) is looking into the case of a two-year-old who reportedly caught the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) less than a week after visiting a mall, Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Saturday.

The DOH had ordered an investigation and is expected to come out with more information in the coming days.

Vergeire also said there are might be other reasons why the toddler got the infection, including contracting the virus from adult companions who go out for work or errands.

"[K]ailangan maintindihan din ng ating mga kababayan, unang-una, marami pang puwedeng maging factor at mga reason kung bakit nagkaroon ng sakit ang bata (The public needs to understand that there may be other reasons why the child got sick)," she said in an online briefing.

"Hindi lang po iyong pagpunta sa mall. Maaaring doon lang sa bahay ay doon na siya nahawa. Maaaring ang mga nakakatanda niyang kasama sa bahay ay lumalabas at nagtatrabaho. So mayroong mga factors na kailangan nating tingnan (It's not only the mall, it may also be at home where he got infected or through his adult companions who usually go outside for work. So we need to look at other factors)," she added. 

READ: NCR mayors to review rules on allowing kids in malls

A social media user earlier shared on Facebook and Twitter that a two-year-old tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 days after visiting a mall.

While the agency is investigating the case, Vergeire asked all parents and guardians to avoid bringing their children to crowded areas.

"[B]inubuksan natin ang specific sectors pero mayroon din hong obligasyon ang ating mga kababayan na mag-follow sa safety protocol and especially our mothers and guardians na kapag nakita na natin na crowded na iyong lugar, huwag na muna po tayong tumuloy (We opened specific sectors but we have the obligation to make sure that we follow the safety protocols. The guardians should also refrain from bringing their child if they see that the place is already crowded)," she said.

"Let us remember the objective of having children out is for them to be able to get sunlight, to have exercise, but not to go to these crowded malls," she added.

Children were allowed to enter malls as Metro Manila shifted to the less strict Alert Level 2 on November 5. (PNA)