MANILA, Philippines – Long-running noontime variety show Eat Bulaga announced Monday, March 9, that it would “temporarily suspend the admission of a live studio audience in the airing of the show” as the reported novel coronavirus cases in the Philippines rose to 10. (READ: Duterte declares state of public health emergency amid rise in coronavirus cases)
The announcement was made through the show’s social media accounts.
The show said that they were doing this “to help prevent the spread of the virus and to ensure the health and safety of its talent, staff, crew, and members of its audience.” Eat Bulaga is aired live over GMA 7 with a studio audience that participates in the show’s gags and segments. The show goes live from APT Studios but segments also involve hosts visiting different barangays (villages) in the Philippines and going live remotely.
It started airing in 1979 and has been on-air since.
“Please understand that this decision was made after extensive and careful consideration in order to cooperate with government efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19,” Eat Bulaga, which is produced by TAPE, Inc., added.
The cast of Eat Bulaga include Filipino comedy institutions Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon, as well as Tito Sotto, who is also the country’s Senate President.
And while a live studio audience will be absent, the show will still go on for Eat Bulaga.
Eat Bulaga, thus far, is the first primetime TV show to announce the postponement of live studio audiences as reported cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new strain of the novel coronavirus, continue to rise in the Philippines.
On March 9, the Philippines’ health department confirmed 4 new cases of the virus, bringing the total number of infected in the country to 10. – Rappler.com