Duterte’s foreign trips suspended

Sofia Tomacruz
Duterte’s foreign trips suspended


The Presidential Security Group says the move is based on the recommendation of the Department of Health

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte’s foreign trips will be suspended amid fears over the continued increase of novel coronavirus cases worldwide, the Presidential Security Group (PSG) announced on Thursday, March 12. 

The PSG said the measure was based on the recommendation of the Department of Health and would apply “especially to countries where there are confirmed cases of COVID-19,” the disease caused by the coronavirus. 

Duterte was tested for the coronavirus on Thursday afternoon, after several of his Cabinet members, including officials in his inner circle, announced they would isolate themselves following contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte’s testing was only a “precautionary measure” and the President was not showing symptoms as of posting. 

Duterte’s former aide-turned-Senator Bong Go, who got tested with Duterte, said results will be available in 48 hours or on Saturday, March 14. 

Experts have warned adults 60 years old and above to take extra precaution against the disease as they were more vulnerable to it.

As of Thursday, the Philippines has recorded at least 52 confirmed coronavirus cases, two of whom have died. 

Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 125,000 people and killed 4,600 across 115 countries. More than 62,000 people have recovered from the virus. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.