NDRRMC cancels nationwide earthquake drill due to coronavirus threat
MANILA, Philippines — The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has decided to cancel the scheduled nationwide earthquake drill for the first quarter as a precautionary action amid rising concern about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
The event, which was supposed to be held on Thursday, was called off “to ensure public health safety of the drill participants and to prevent the possible risk of contracting COVID-19,” NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said in a statement Tuesday.
The disaster agency implements a nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill every quarter. Local government units, government offices, businesses and private groups, schools, usually participate in the activity for earthquake preparedness.
As of latest, there are 24 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier declared a state of public health emergency after health authorities cited new recorded cases of the virus.
He also ordered on Monday night the suspension of classes in all levels in Metro Manila from March 10 to 14.
Death toll from the disease has surpassed 4,000 and has infected 113,000 people around the world as of Tuesday, according to a report by CNN International.
Edited by JPV
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