Office employees wearing facemasks walk along a street in Manila. Image Credit: AFP

A 62-year-old Filipino male who hasn't traveled outside the country has tested positive for novel coronavirus, the Philippines' first local case, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said.

A 48-year-old Filipino male who visited Tokyo also tested positive of the virus, bringing the Philippines' total confirmed cases to five, Duque said in a televised briefing in Manila.

"These recent developments are significant, but we are prepared to respond to its potential consequences," Duque said.

Authorities are tracking down people who came in contact with the patients, as well as those who interacted with three individuals from Taiwan, Japan and Australia who tested positive after visiting the Philippines, Duque said.

In February, a 44-year-old Chinese male from Wuhan died in the Philippines from the novel coronavirus, the first death recorded outside of China. Two other patients, both Chinese nationals, have recovered.

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that there are as many as 540 crew members on board the MV Grand Princess cruise ship held off the coast of California. There are passengers and crew of unidentified nationalities exhibiting symptoms of the virus, the DFA said.