Duterte calls meeting to discuss new virus strain on December 26

Pia Ranada

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Duterte calls meeting to discuss new virus strain on December 26

PANDEMIC RESPONSE. President Rodrigo Duterte presides over the 49th Cabinet Meeting at Malacañan Palace on December 14, 2020.

Malacañang photo

President Duterte, said to be 'very concerned' about the new strain, has asked to speak with infectious disease experts during the meeting

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will meet with pandemic task force officials to discuss the new strain of SARS-CoV-2 on Saturday, December 26, a day after Christmas.

Malacañang confirmed the Chief Executive’s plans in a message to reporters on Friday, December 25, Christmas.

“Tomorrow, in Malago (Malacañang Golf Clubhouse),” said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque.

Duterte’s longtime aide and now senator Bong Go said Duterte is “very much concerned” about the new strain of the COVID-19 virus which emerged in the United Kingdom and is said to be more infectious.

Go said the meeting will include “infectious disease experts,” aside from officials of the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

Duterte will be flying from Davao City, where he spent his Christmas Eve, to hold the meeting in Manila.

Go described Duterte’s decision to hold the meeting as “biglaan” (sudden).

Earlier, the Chief Executive and his task force decided to temporarily halt flights from the UK to the Philippines from December 24 to December 31. –

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is Rappler’s Community Lead, in charge of linking our journalism with communities for impact.