MANILA – Malacañang on Saturday appealed to the public to remain calm and vigilant against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), as it assured them of the government’s preparedness to stop the further spread of the disease.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the government continues to implement measures that seek to protect Filipinos against Covid-19.
“We similarly call upon the cooperation of the Filipino people during this health crisis to exercise utmost prudence and exercise judiciousness as we expect all responsible agencies to continue exhausting all possible measures within their mandate to secure the general welfare of the citizenry,” Panelo said.
Panelo issued the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the Department of Health’s (DOH) recommendation to declare a state of public health emergency, amid the surge in Covid-19 cases in the country.
Panelo said Duterte made the declaration after considering “all critical factors with the aim of safeguarding the health of the Filipino public.“
To date, the Philippines has six confirmed cases of Covid-19.
The three new Covid-19 patients in the country include the 48-year-old man who previously visited Japan, and a couple — a 62-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman — who both had no travel history abroad.
Panelo assured the public that the Office of the President has been in “constant communication” with the DOH and key government agencies to beef up the fight against Covid-19.
“In this connection, we are closely monitoring the developments relating to the disease as the DOH has just confirmed today, March 7, the 6th positive case of Covid-19,” he said.
The rise in the cases of Covid-19 in the country prompted the DOH to raise the Covid-19 Alert System to Code Red-Sublevel 1.
The move was meant to ensure that the entire government and its agents, along with the country’s healthcare providers, can prepare for possible Covid-19 upticks.
The new coronavirus first began spreading in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and is now affecting more than 30 countries.
On Saturday, around 163 Filipinos from Macau, one of the countries with confirmed cases of Covid-19, arrived safely in the Philippines, Panelo confirmed.
“A chartered plane landed this afternoon in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and we thank the authorities of (Macau), in close coordination with the Philippine Consulate General in the aforesaid Special Administrative Region, for arranging this repatriation flight,” he said.
Panelo also reiterated that the government “remains ready and is prepared in serving and protecting Filipinos here and abroad.” (PNA)