Duterte to address nation Thursday night amid coronavirus pandemic
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will address the nation Thursday night as the country confronts the 2019 coronavirus disease or COVID-19.
In a statement, Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo bared that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, in a meeting Thursday afternoon, has agreed to adopt a resolution on measures to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease.
“The contents of the resolution will be announced to the public following the approval by the President,” Panelo said.
To date, the Philippines has 49 confirmed cases of COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that first emerged in China’s city of Wuhan in Hubei province in late 2019.
The World Health Organization now considers COVID-19 a pandemic.
The virus causes mild symptoms such as fever and cough for most people but can cause serious illness such as pneumonia for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems.
To prevent infection, authorities are urging people to practice regular hand washing, cover the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and avoid close contact with those who show respiratory symptoms.
Quarantines and avoiding or restricting public interactions has been a primary method of trying to prevent the spread of the virus.
Philippine health officials have reported 49 cases of infections and two people, a Chinese and a Filipino, have died.
The illness causes mild to moderate symptoms in most people but can be severe in the elderly and people with other health problems.
The 74-year-old Duterte, who skipped work due to illness a number of times last year, postponed a trip to Boracay island on Thursday due to concerns over COVID-19, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said. He had planned to travel to the famed beach resort to promote domestic tourism amid a slump in arrivals of foreign tourists because of the pandemic.
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