Duterte suspends classes in Metro Manila March 10-14 over coronavirus threat

MANILA, Philippines – Classes in all levels in Metro Manila will be suspended from Tuesday, March 10, to Saturday, March 14, President Rodrigo Duterte announced Monday night, March 9. 

Government officials will meet Saturday to review the pronouncement. 

Duterte said the suspension was needed to assess the incubation of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

“The virus is so virulent that even contact, mere talking and handshaking could place you in jeopardy and we are trying to avoid losses, especially lives,” Duterte told reporters in a late night press conference. 

As of Monday, the Philippines has recorded 24 confirmed coronavirus cases. These include one death – a Chinese tourist – which was the first fatality to be recorded outside of China.

Worldwide, the death toll has exceeded 3,800, while more than 109,000 people have been infected in over 100 countries. – Rappler.com

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.