MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Friday advised the public to stay safe and careful, as cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) continue to rise around the world.
Andanar reminded Filipinos to follow the protocols imposed by the Department of Health (DOH) to prevent the possible outbreak of Covid-19 in the country.
“Kailangan talaga na mag-ingat ang mga kababayan natin. Hindi ibig sabihin na ngayon ay tayo ay maganda ‘yung pagpapatakbo ng DOH, ligtas ‘yung ating bansa. Hindi ibig sabihin na tayo ay exempted diyan sa sakit na iyan (Our countrymen should be careful. It doesn’t mean the country is already safe just because the DOH is doing a good job. It doesn’t mean we’re exempted from that acquiring that disease),” he said in an interview on Cabinet Report over Radyo Pilipinas (RP).
Andanar reiterated that everyone should observe proper hygiene to avoid being infected with Covid-19.
The Philippines has earlier confirmed that three Chinese tourists from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the Covid-19 epidemic, tested positive for the deadly virus.
There is no existing case of Covid-19 in the Philippines since one of the Chinese nationals died due to the virus while the two others already recovered from the disease.
Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval, meanwhile, urged the public to avoid “non-essential” travel to countries with confirmed cases of Covid-19.
Sandoval said everyone needs to “sacrifice” to ensure the safety of all Filipinos against the threat of the new coronavirus.
“Kung ang mga travel naman po nila ay non-essential, ipagpaliban na lang po muna just for everyone’s safety (If their travel is non-essential, it’s better to cancel it in the meantime for everyone’s safety),” she said.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Friday maintained his stance that the public should refrain from going to crowded places amid the coronavirus scare.
On Saturday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat announced the postponement of a month-long nationwide mall sale to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Romulo-Puyat said the 2020 Philippine Shopping Festival, which was supposed to kick off on March 1 until 31 to boost the country’s tourism sector, was postponed “until further notice.”
The World Health Organization has raised the global spread and pact risk alert of Covid-19 to “very high” from “high.”
China on Saturday raised the death toll in the country to 2,835 due to Covid-19. It also announced that the total number of infections rose to 79,251.
Covid-19 now affects more than 50 countries.
Around 591 of 627 persons under investigation (PUIs) in the Philippines due to Covid-19 have been discharged, while 531 PUIs have tested negative for the virus, based on the DOH’s tracker as of Friday. (iam/sovereignph.com/PNA)