As PH’s COVID-19 cases soar, Duterte offers sympathy to China in meet with envoy

/ 01:44 PM March 12, 2020
President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian

President Rodrigo Duterte reads a document while discussing matters with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian who paid a courtesy call on the President at the Malacañan Palace on March 11, 2020. Rey Baniquet/Presidential Photo

MANILA, Philippines — As the country grapples with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), President Rodrigo Duterte has met with Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian and extended sympathies to the Chinese people affected by the contagion.

The Chinese ambassador paid a courtesy call on Duterte on Wednesday in Malacañang where they discussed the two countries’ economic cooperation, including the challenges posed by the spread of COVID-19, a respiratory disease that first emerged in China’s city of Wuhan in Hubei province in late 2019.


In a press release on Thursday, Malacañang said the President “extended the Philippines’ solidarity with China and the international community in addressing the global public health emergency.” 

“The Philippine government donated 52 boxes of emergency medical and food supplies to Wuhan,” the press release noted.


As a response, Huang supposedly expressed solidarity with the Philippine government in its efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“The Chinese ambassador also conveyed China’s readiness to extend assistance” to the Philippines, Malacañang said.

Duterte also extended his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives after a quarantine facility in Quanzhou, Fujian, collapsed last week.

He further conveyed his wishes for the swift recovery of those who were injured.

On Wednesday, the confirmed cases of COVID-19 spiked to 49 after health officials reported 16 new infections.

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that first emerged in China’s city of Wuhan in Hubei province in late 2019. 

The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses named the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. 


The virus causes mild symptoms such as fever and cough for most people but can cause serious illness such as pneumonia for others.

Experts earlier said that older adults with preexisting health conditions were more vulnerable to the coronavirus, particularly those aged over 60-years-old.


For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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