The Philippines Copes with Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) with Live Updates

It’s no surprise that the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has become a worldwide health crisis that could potentially be a global pandemic in the making. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as Global Public Health Emergency last January 30, 2020, and has addressed several advisories regarding travel and personal health tips to practice in order to avoid getting infected.

COVID-19 Cases in the Philippines

Some of which include washing hands more often in the day, avoiding people with coughs and colds, wearing masks in closed tight spaces with a sick person close by, and sanitizing as often as possible.

As of March 4th, the Philippines has reportedly confirmed 3 people who have the virus, 1 death, 39 people admitted to hospitals, and 620 discharged and free to go home, according to Rappler. The highest number of people probed with the virus is 225 in the Metro Manila area, followed by Central Luzon with 76, then Central Visayas with 62 probed victims. At least 87 Filipino locals have been confirmed to have caught the bug but are all based outside the country.

Travel Restrictions

The most number of active cases outside of China is South Korea with more than 5,000 active cases in the country and 35 in the death toll, the Department of Tourism together with the Department of Health have insisted on advising the public to avoid unnecessary travel to the country as it has soaring rates of infection in the last few weeks which don’t plan to slow down soon.

A travel ban has been placed for those coming from North Gyeongsang Province (along with Daegu City and Cheongdo County) of South Korea, as well as people who have traveled to the former within two weeks preceding their return to the country.

Those who are studying in South Korea, OFWs and permanent residents of South Korea are exempt from this travel ban but must present the declaration of understanding that manifests their knowledge of the risks upon return.

New Cases Arise

21 Apr 2020

  • There are more than 6,400 confirmed cases, more than 400 deaths, and more than 600 recoveries from COVID-19 to date.
  • President Duterte addressed the public last 16 Apr 2020 and said that he will immediately lift the Luzon lockdown once the medicine or vaccine for COVID-19 will be available, which is expected to come by 2021.
  • The Philippines is the first country in Asia to implement a lockdown.
  • Patients who have passed away from COVID-19 are not permitted to have wakes and burials.
  • The president asks crematories not to impose price increase due to higher demand in service, as well as for hospitals to find ways to accommodate more patients with the virus.
  • 9 detainees at the Quezon City jail test positive for COVID-19 according to BPMP.
  • Drivers who have no quarantine pass will have their licenses confiscated by the LTO.
  • There are 67 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the Philippine National Police (PNP).
  • Manila Mayor Isko Moreno places Sampaloc under lockdown as of 19 Apr 2020 with further local government planning in place.
  • 40 staff members of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) test positive for COVID-19 as of 20 Apr 2020.

23 Apr 2020

  • There are more than 6,700 confirmed cases, more than 440 deaths, and more than 600 recoveries from COVID-19 in the Philippines.
  • 1,062 health workers have been infected with COVID-19, 286 have died since 22 Apr 2020.
  • Cebu City’s ECQ has been confirmed for an extension until 15 May 2020.
  • Experts from the University of the Philippines proposes a cancelation of classes until December to prevent COVID-19 from spreading further.

27 Apr 2020

  • There are more than 7,500 confirmed cases, more than 500 deaths, and more than 800 recoveries from COVID-19 in the Philippines.
  • President Duterte addressed the extension of the Emergency Community Quarantine until 18 May 2020.
  • Duterte raises bounty for COVID-19 vaccine to PHP 50 million and offers research funding for scientists.
  • Senator Bong Go proposes “balik probinsya” program that gives incentives and opportunities for citizens that return to the provinces.
  • The Asian Development Bank grants USD 1.5 Billion loans to aid local COVID-19 response, payable in 10 years with a three-year grace period.
  • Philippines’ Air Asia, Philippine Airlines, and Cebu Pacific cancel all domestic and international flights up to May 15th.
  • 1,140 healthcare workers test positive for COVID-19

29 April 2020

  • There are almost 8,000 confirmed cases, 549 deaths, almost 1,000 recoveries from COVID-19 in the Philippines.
  • more than 1,300 health workers have been infected with COVID-19.
  • Enhanced Community Quarantine will be extended in NCR, Central  Luzon, apart from Aurora province, Calabarzon, Pangasinan, Benguet including Baguio City, Iloilo, Cebu, Cebu City, and Davao City.
  • Some international flights have been continued on a limited scale including Hong Kong Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Eva Air, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates Airlines to name a few.

4 May 2020

  • There are almost 9,300 confirmed cases, more than 600 deaths, and more than 1,200 recoveries from COVID-19 in the Philippines.
  • The IATF allowed POGOs to resume operations after the lockdown extension on May 15, 2020, reports PAGCOR chairperson, Andrea Domingo.
  • the Department of Transportation released the new and updated safety measures and passenger limits PUVs will have to follow in areas under General Community Quarantine. Some of the allowed vehicles to operate include buses, taxis, modern PUVs, jeepneys, tricycles, and UV expresses.
  • RITM confirms that 2 million Euros will be granted to the Philippines by France to further support efforts in fighting COVID-19, according to the French Embassy.
  • Manila International Airport Authority suspends all commercial/passenger flights to and from NAIA last 3 May 2020. Cargo, medical, utility, and maintenance flights are not suspended.
  •  Navotas will be placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine according to Mayor Toby Tiangco.

5 May 2020

  • There are more than 9,800 confirmed cases, more than 630 deaths, and more than 1,400 recoveries from COVID-19 in the Philippines.
  • The Department of Education (DepEd) announced that the formal opening of classes will be on August 24, whether online or physical depending on the final decision of the IATF on area status.
  • National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) orders one of the largest news networks, ABS-CBN News and DMM Teleradyo to go off air due to non-compliance order for renewing a license to operate. ABS-CBN’s 11,000 employees are left jobless while millions of Filipinos are left with less reliable news sources during a global pandemic.

8 May 2020

  • There are more than 10,000 confirmed cases, more than 700 deaths, and more than 1,600 recoveries from COVID-19 in the Philippines.
  • Duterte approves Senator Bong Go’s “Balik Probinsya” Program which aims to decongest Metro Manila during the lockdown.
  • 1,886 healthcare workers have been infected with COVID-19. 403 have recovered, while 34 passed away.

11 May 2020

  • There are more than 10,700 confirmed cases, more than 715 deaths, and almost 1,950 recoveries from COVID-19 in the Philippines.
  • DepEd has made 24 August 2020, the official and formal date for the next school year, which will end on 30 April 2021.
  • NAIA will resume international flight arrivals today, 11 May 2020, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. Chartered flights are scheduled to land every Monday and Thursday, while commercial flights land every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • The Metro Manila Council has forwarded three recommendations to the IATF regarding the ECQ extension.

13 May 2020

  • There are more than 12,000 confirmed cases, more than 750 deaths, and more than 2,000 recoveries from COVID-19 in the Philippines.
  • Duterte’s much-anticipated address was carried on by spokesperson Sec. Harry Roque who briefed the nation on the shift from Enhanced Community Quarantine to Modified Community Quarantine to non-high-risk areas in the Philippines.
  • Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla says Cavite will shift to General Community Quarantine beginning 16 May 2020.
  • The Pasig City government set up bike lanes in the past few days in some areas proving bike-to-work is a viable option for many.
  • Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine applies to Laguna, All HUCs of NCR (Metro Manila), Pateros, and Cebu City until 31 May 2020.
    • MEC is similar to ECQ except only some industries are allowed to operate.
    • Limited transportation services will be available with social distancing practiced.
    • Physical classes are still suspended. LGUs will be given the authority to declare and classify which barangays are still high-risks to COVID-19 and would have to remain in ECQ and will be given the second tranche of Cash Aid.
  • The DOH has partnered with new telemedicine companies to provide free, online medical consultation to the public: Cloud MD and See You Doc

15 May 2020

  • There are more than 12,000 confirmed cases, more than 800 deaths, and more than 2,3oo recoveries from COVID-19 in the Philippines.
  • Metro Manila is placed under Typhoon Signal #1 due to Typhoon Ambo
  • The Philippine Coast Guard cancels operations of cargo vessels and fishing boats due to Typhoon Ambo

Health First, Always

As more cases continue to develop overnight, the Philippine public is highly advised to avoid unnecessary travel to COVID-19 infected countries. Practicing proper hygiene and hydration are highly advised at this point in time where washing hands regularly and drinking a ton of water are simple ways to combat the alarming state of health in the Philippines.

The global death toll has reached more than 31,198 with 2,981 specifically in China alone and continues to bring countries like Italy and Iran in the next who are gaining more active cases daily. COVID-19 has been declared an international emergency by the WHO and continues to be a health threat in the Philippines.

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