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Solon wants to revive no-handshake gesture in view of nCoV scare 

/ 10:38 PM January 29, 2020

Rep. Bayani Fernando. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker has revived a proposal for Filipinos to adopt a no-contact gesture of goodwill which would replace handshakes, following the rising cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in most part of the world.

Speaking during the Minority’s press briefing on Wednesday, Marikina 1st District Rep. Bayani Fernando said that his House Bill No. 921 would encourage people to place a right hand to their chest and slightly bow, instead of making hand contact.

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“This is actually to do away with the traditional handshake, ang reason ko no’n [my reason for this] is for reason of hygiene. It’s as simple as putting your right hand over your chest,” Fernando said.

“No’ng araw hindi pa alam ng mga tao na merong such thing as mikrobyo, wala pang microscope […] about a century ago or more, man have discovered the presence of microbes, so there is no reason for us to continue with the practice,” he added.

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HB No. 921, or An Act to Promote a New Pilipino Gesture of Goodwill and Praise, was filed by Fernando last October 2019 with a similar reason: that medical experts consider handshaking as another way to spread communicable diseases.

If enacted, the Philippine Information Agency would lead the implementation of the information campaign.

Due to the 2019-nCoV’s spread over mainland China, entry and exit points nationwide have been placed on high alert to avoid the virus from entering the Philippines.

As of now, the Department of Health (DOH) says that the country remains free from this latest strain of the coronavirus, although there are 27 patients under observation for having 2019-nCoV symptoms.  One of the patients died earlier, although DOH said that the 29-year-old Chinese man tested positive for HIV.

Since the 2019 -nCoV spread from Wuhan in China, over 6,000 individuals have been confirmed infected with 132 dead.

Edited by JPV

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For more information about the novel coronavirus click here.

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TAGS: 2019 n-CoV, 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Coronavirus, Department of Health, DoH, handshake, House, House of Representatives, Marikina Rep. Bayani Fernando, Philippine news updates, Secretary Francisco Duque III
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