COVID-19 - updates

Rappler's latest stories on COVID-19


PH gov’t urged to brace for tourism dip due to virus outbreak

Feb 23, 2020 - 12:20 PM

Deputy House Speaker Johnny Pimentel says the Philippines is expected to lose 1.2 million Chinese visitors due to the novel coronavirus outbreak

FAMED BEACH. Tourists trek White Beach in Boracay Island. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Italy clamps down on travel after virus deaths, rise in cases

Feb 23, 2020 - 9:25 AM

Italy became the first country in Europe to report the death of one of its own nationals from the virus, triggering travel restrictions on about a dozen towns where the number of people contaminated has continued to rise

RESTRICTIONS. People pass by a mural depicting a Chinese face in Via Paolo Sarpi, the commercial street of the Chinese district in Milan on January 30, 2020. Photo by Miguel Medina/AFP

Japan says 23 passengers mistakenly left virus ship before testing

Feb 23, 2020 - 9:12 AM

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato apologizes for failing to prevent the passengers from leaving the ship without undergoing all the required tests

FLOATING PETRI DISH. A small boat is pictured next to the Diamond Princess cruise ship with over 3,000 people as it sits anchored in quarantine off the port of Yokohama on February 4, 2020, a day after it arrived with passengers feeling ill. Photo by Behrouz Mehri/AFP

Russia-linked disinformation campaign fueling coronavirus alarm, U.S. says

Feb 22, 2020 - 11:47 PM

The claims include allegations that the virus is a US effort to 'wage economic war on China,' that it is a biological weapon manufactured by the CIA or part of a Western-led effort 'to push anti-China messages'

HEALTH SCANS. Health officers screen arriving passengers from China with thermal scanners at Changi International airport in Singapore on January 22, 2020 as authorities increased measure against coronavirus. Photo by Roslan Rahman/AFP

Woman with no COVID-19 symptoms infects 5 relatives – report

Feb 22, 2020 - 10:02 PM

The study by Chinese scientists indicate new challenges for containing the 2019 novel coronavirus

COVID-19. This photo taken on January 25, 2020 shows medical staff wearing protective clothing to protect against the deadly COVID-2019 coronavirus as they work at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan. Photo by Hector Retamal / AFP

Virus ship crew's families fear for kin as PH evacuation postponed

Feb 22, 2020 - 9:44 PM

While hundreds of travelers have disembarked, more than 1,000 crew remain – including over 400 Filipinos whose return on Sunday has been delayed until Japan clears them to travel

ANXIOUS. Relatives of Filipino crew members stranded on board the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship, moored off Japan's coast, walk outside a building after meeting with a local employment agency for seafarers in Manila on February 22, 2020. Photo by Basilio H. Sepe/AFP

PH coronavirus watch: Suspected cases per region, as of February 22, 2020

Feb 22, 2020 - 7:01 PM

Based on the Department of Health's monitoring as of February 22, 2020

Nurses from the Ospital ng Parañaque show to members of the media On Wednesday, February 5, some equipment they prepared, including a quarantine tent, as precautionary measures in case a Patient Under Investigation (PUI) of the Novel Coronavirua Acute Respiratory Disease is brought to their facility. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

49 quarantined in New Clark City cleared of COVID-19, sent home

Feb 22, 2020 - 5:40 PM

'We are glad that all our repatriates from China are well and did not exhibit any signs of the COVID-19,' says Health Secretary Francisco Duque III

COVID-19. PNP Chief Archie Gamboa on February 3, 2020, presents to media at Camp Crame its chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives (CBRNE)-trained personnel to assist in the government's action in repatriating Filipinos from countries which are affected by the 2019 novel coronavirus. Photo by Daren Langit/Rappler

Second person dies in Italy from coronavirus – ANSA

Feb 22, 2020 - 5:35 PM

A woman in the northern region of Lombardy dies from the 2019 novel coronavirus

QUARANTINE. A military personnel in protective gear walks across the Cecchignola quarantine center, south of Rome, on February 3, 2020 where Italian citizens have been placed in quarantine after being repatriated from the coronavirus hot-zone of Wuhan at the nearby military airport of Pratica di Mare. Photo by Tiziana FABI/AFP

Iran reports 5th coronavirus death, most outside Far East

Feb 22, 2020 - 5:19 PM

(UPDATED) Iranian authorities order the closure of schools, universities and other educational centers in Qom and the nearby city of Arak

MASKED. An Iranian woman wearing a protective mask checks her mobile telephone as she walks in a street in the capital Tehran on February 20, 2020. Photo by Atta Kenare/AFP

CBCP suggests sprinkling of ashes on head on Ash Wednesday

Feb 22, 2020 - 3:44 PM

The bishops' conference releases additional guidelines for Lenten season amid COVID-19 epidemic, including no touching of the cross

DEVOTION. People wear face mask while praying after attending a mass at National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help or Baclaran Church in Paranaque City on February 02, 2020 as precautionary measure against the 2019 novel coronavirus. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

DOH: Repatriation of Filipinos on cruise ship moved to 'early next week’

Feb 22, 2020 - 3:12 PM

The DOH says the rescheduling is needed to allow Japanese health authorities to complete laboratory testing of the Filipino crew members

COUPLE. Passengers look out from their balconies on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, with around 3,600 people quarantined onboard due to fears of the new COVID-19 coronavirus, at the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama on February 14, 2020. Photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP

UK begins repatriating citizens from virus-stricken Japan cruise ship

Feb 22, 2020 - 11:46 AM

The Foreign Office says an 'evacuation flight from Japan has now departed with 32 British and European passengers on board, as well as British government and medical staff' and is due to arrive in the UK Saturday'

DIAMOND PRINCESS. A bus drives through dockside past the Diamond Princess cruise ship, in quarantine due to fears of new COVID-19 coronavirus, at Daikoku pier cruise terminal in Yokohama on February 21, 2020. Photo by Philip Fong/AFP

China virus cases drop as foreign fears rise

Feb 22, 2020 - 10:02 AM

(2nd UPDATE) The outbreak has now claimed 2,345 lives in China and infected more than 76,000 people

KEEPING SAFE. A medical worker wears protective clothing as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus as she pushes an incubator between buildings at a hospital in Beijing on February 21, 2020. Photo by Greg Baker/AFP

UAE confirms 2 new coronavirus cases, one of them another Filipino

Feb 22, 2020 - 8:57 AM

The Ministry of Health and Prevention says the two new cases – a Filipino and a Bangladeshi, both in their 30s – had close contact with the recently confirmed COVID-19 cases

DUBAI. Tourists wearing surgical masks are pictured on a beach next to Burj Al Arab in Dubai on January 29, 2020. Photo by Giuseppe Cacace / AFP

WHO says window of opportunity to stem virus 'narrowing' as cases soar

Feb 22, 2020 - 8:30 AM

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cautions for the first time that while 'we are still in a phase where containment is possible... our window of opportunity is narrowing'

SCANNING. The body temperature of Iraqi women returning from Iran is measured upon their arrival at the Najaf International Airport on February 21, 2020, after Iran announced cases of coronavirus infections in the Islamic republic. Photo by Haidar Hamdani/AFP

52 Filipinos on Japan cruise ship infected with coronavirus will not be repatriated yet

Feb 21, 2020 - 7:19 PM

The Filipinos, both crew and passengers of Diamond Princess, will still remain in Japan

A bus with a driver (L) wearing protective gear departs from the dockside next to the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has around 3,600 people quarantined onboard due to fears of the new COVID-19 coronavirus, at the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama port on February 14, 2020. - Japanese authorities were preparing Febraury 14 to move some older passengers who tested negative for the new coronavirus off a quarantined cruise ship and into government-designated lodging. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP)

PH coronavirus watch: Suspected cases per region, as of February 21, 2020

Feb 21, 2020 - 6:00 PM

Based on the Department of Health's monitoring as of February 21, 2020

The Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (QCDRRMO) demonstrate to first responders how to use the protective gear properly in time coronavirus hit their barangays during a meeting on February 4, 2020. Mayor Joy Belmonte tapped officials from 142 barangays to boost efforts against 2019 nCoV-ARD. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Filipino repatriates from Wuhan going home after showing no COVID-19 symptoms

Feb 21, 2020 - 4:58 PM

The 10 government personnel who were part of the repatriation team, 6 flight crew members, and 3 ground crew operators will also complete their 14-day quarantine on February 22

QUARANTINE ENDING. DOH Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire gives updates on the status of the novel coronavirus in the Philippines on February 21, 2020. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

AirAsia offers lower airfares to boost PH tourism

Feb 21, 2020 - 4:29 PM

The travel period is from February 24 to September 30, 2020

DISCOUNTED. AirAsia flies to more than 80 destinations from Manila. AirAsia file photo

China says coronavirus vaccine trials to start around late April

Feb 21, 2020 - 4:03 PM

Public and private researchers around the world have been working to develop treatments and vaccines to combat the COVID-19 virus that first emerged in central China in December

TRADITIONAL MEDICINE. This photo taken on February 20, 2020 shows a medical worker taking a prescription of traditional Chinese medicine at a hospital in Shenyang in China's northeastern Liaoning province. Photo by STR/AFP

Quarantine nightmare still not over for left-behind cruise ship crew

Feb 21, 2020 - 2:14 PM

While passengers on board were confined to their cabins around the clock apart from an hour of fresh air on deck, most of the Diamond Princess crew did not undergo quarantine as they were needed to keep the ship running

NOT OVER. A Japanese Self-Defense Forces Health Corps vehicle enters a cordoned-off area at the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal where the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship is anchored, in Yokohama. Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP

Asia-Pacific airlines could lose $27.8 billion to coronavirus – IATA

Feb 21, 2020 - 1:55 AM

This will be the first time since the SARS crisis of 2003 that demand for air travel has declined

This picture taken on January 23, 2020 shows passengers wearing masks prepare to disembark from a flight from Hong Kong on arrival at Bangkok's airport ahead of the Chinese New Year in Bangkok on January 23, 2020. - China sealed off millions more people near the epicentre of a virus outbreak on January 24, shutting down public transport in an eighth city in an unprecedented quarantine effort as the death toll from the disease climbed to 25. (Photo by Vivek Prakash / AFP)

China cuts loan rate as it battles coronavirus impact

Feb 20, 2020 - 9:20 PM

The reduction in China's loan prime rate is the latest measure to help companies struggling through the epidemic

Qantas cuts flights to Asia as coronavirus hits profits

Feb 20, 2020 - 8:55 PM

As the novel coronavirus outbreak hurts demand, Qantas reduces flights to Asia by 16% for at least 3 months

QANTAS. Photo from Qantas website

3 more Filipinos in Japan cruise ship infected with novel coronavirus – DFA

Feb 20, 2020 - 8:47 PM

This brings the total number of Filipino passengers who got infected with the novel coronavirus to 44

ADDITIONAL CASES. People wearing protective suits walk from the Diamond Princess cruise ship at the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama port on February 10, 2020. File photo by Charly Triballeu/AFP

Around 500 Filipinos on Japan cruise ship to come home on February 23

Feb 20, 2020 - 7:10 PM

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III says even the Filipino crew member of the cruise ship who recovered from the novel coronavirus will still have to undergo a 14-day quarantine in New Clark City

GOING HOME. A passenger (L) disembarks from the Diamond Princess cruise ship after being quarantined due to the novel coronavirus. File photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP

PH coronavirus watch: Suspected cases per region, as of February 20, 2020

Feb 20, 2020 - 6:00 PM

Based on the Department of Health's monitoring as of February 20, 2020

Makati conducts temperature checks amid nCoV outbreak. A staff of the Makati Health Department uses an infrared thermometer to measure the temperature of employees and visitors at the entrance of the Makati City Hall Building 1 in the wake of the novel coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak. Apart from the City Hall complex, all of the city’s 26 barangay health centers use the non-contact thermometers as part of the city’s measures against nCoV. The city regularly refills hand sanitizer dispensers in strategic places at City Hall to prevent the spread of the virus. Photo from Makati ICRD

Cebu Pacific lowers fares as coronavirus hits tourism

Feb 20, 2020 - 9:40 AM

The budget airline reduces its base fare to as low as P88, as the Philippines is projected to lose billions of pesos due to travel bans

IMF warns China virus hitting a fragile global economy

Feb 20, 2020 - 9:15 AM

'The truth is that uncertainty is becoming the new normal,' says International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva

This photo taken on February 14, 2020 shows people walking along a street in Melbourne's Chinatown. - Bustling century-old Chinatowns from Melbourne to San Francisco have fallen quiet and businesses are struggling to survive as fears over the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak ripple around the world. (Photo by William WEST / AFP) / TO GO WITH Australia-China-virus-health-economy,FOCUS by Sean GLEESON

WHO declares 'progress' in fight against novel coronavirus

Feb 19, 2020 - 11:21 PM

'We are making tremendous progress in a short period of time...trends are very encouraging but we are not at a turning point yet,' a World Health Organization says

DISCHARGED. A recovered patient (C in wheelchair), 83, is discharged from Leishenshan Hospital, the newly-built makeshift hospital for novel coronavirus patients, in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on February 18, 2020. AFP photo

Elated passengers leave Cambodia cruise ship after virus all-clear

Feb 19, 2020 - 7:19 PM

The news comes as Southeast Asian foreign ministers prepare for a summit in Laos on Thursday, February 20, with their Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the COVID-19 outbreak

CLEAR. Passengers disembarking from the Westerdam cruise ship wave to remaining crew members in Sihanoukville on February 19, 2020. Photo by Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP

Filipina in Hong Kong tests positive for novel coronavirus

Feb 19, 2020 - 7:05 PM

A 32-year-old domestic worker is Hong Kong's 61st confirmed case of infection, and the city's first Filipino COVID-19 patient

HEALTH WORKERS. Medical workers in Hong Kong are dealing with more than 60 cases of the novel coronavirus. Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP

Coronavirus hits Adidas, Puma sales in China

Feb 19, 2020 - 6:15 PM

Sportswear giants Adidas and Puma say their sales have plunged in recent weeks due to store closures triggered by the novel coronavirus outbreak

TEMPORARY CLOSURES. A salesclerk, wearing a face mask, waits for customers in an empty Adidas shop in Beijing, China, on January 30, 2020. Photo by Nicolas Asfouri/AFP

PH coronavirus watch: Suspected cases per region, as of February 19, 2020

Feb 19, 2020 - 6:00 PM

Based on the Department of Health's monitoring as of February 19, 2020

A sign of 'No mask, No Entry' is put into the entrance of San Lazaro Hospital in Manila following the confirmation of Department of Health of the first case Novel coronavirus in the country on January 30, 2020. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

First Filipino case of novel coronavirus recovers – DFA

Feb 19, 2020 - 5:16 PM

Another 40 Filipino crew members of a cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan, are being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals in Japan

QUARANTINE OVER. The cruise ship Diamond Princess docked in Yokohama, Japan. Photo by Charly Triballeu/AFP

DFA orders immediate repatriation of Filipinos on cruise ship in Japan

Feb 19, 2020 - 1:08 PM

The Department of Health says the returning Filipinos would be subjected to an additional 14-day quarantine upon arrival as a safety precaution

COUPLE. Passengers look out from their balconies on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, with around 3,600 people quarantined onboard due to fears of the new COVID-19 coronavirus, at the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama on February 14, 2020. Photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP

Coronavirus outbreak stokes anti-Asian bigotry worldwide

Feb 19, 2020 - 12:36 PM

Fears of a pandemic are causing shocking levels of racism and hysteria

Tourists wearing protective face masks are pictured in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. (Kyodo)

Foreign firms struggle to resume operations in virus-hit China

Feb 18, 2020 - 10:00 PM

'The whole process is stuttering to get back as the magnitude of the challenges is just huge,' says Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China

A man wearing a protective facemask, amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, walks in a deserted shopping area in Beijing on February 17, 2020. - The death toll from China's COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic jumped to 1,770 after 105 more people died, the National Health Commission said on February 17. More than 70,500 have now been infected nationwide by the virus, which first emerged in December in central Hubei province before spreading across the country. (Photo by GREG BAKER / AFP)

Singapore announces $4.6-billion boost to fight virus

Feb 18, 2020 - 9:35 PM

Tourism and trade are both expected to be hard hit by the novel coronavirus in Singapore, an open economy with close links to China

Visitors, wearing protective facemasks amid fears about the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, walk along the Jubilee Bridge in Singapore on February 17, 2020. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP)

Macau casinos to reopen after virus ban lifted

Feb 18, 2020 - 9:10 PM

Casinos in Macau can resume operations on Thursday, February 20, as no new novel coronavirus infections were found in the city in the last two weeks

Visitors wear face masks as they walk outside the Venetian casino hotel resort as a Lunar New Year light display is projected upon a facade of the building in Macau on January 22, 2020, after the former Portuguese colony reported its first case of the new SARS-like virus that originated from Wuhan in China. - Macau on January 22 reported its first confirmed case of the new SARS-like coronavirus as authorities announced all staff in the city's bustling casinos had been ordered to wear face masks. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP)

PH coronavirus watch: Suspected cases per region, as of February 18, 2020

Feb 18, 2020 - 7:30 PM

Based on the Department of Health's monitoring as of February 18, 2020

HEALTH PRECAUTIONS. Metro Manila commuters wear face masks as protection from the novel coronavirus on February 3, 2020. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

China to waive tariffs on U.S. medical imports amid virus outbreak

Feb 18, 2020 - 7:20 PM

Products that will qualify for the exemptions include patient monitors, blood transfusion equipment, and instruments to measure blood pressure

TARIFFS SUSPENDED. Containers are shown at the foreign trade container terminal in Qingdao, in China's eastern Shandong province, on November 21, 2019. File photo by AFP

Fans barred from Singapore ONE Championship event over coronavirus

Feb 18, 2020 - 7:16 PM

ONE: King of the Jungle will be broadcast live on TV and digital platforms but will be closed to the public

SAFETY MEASURES. The title fight between Stamp Fairtex and Janet Todd will be held behind closed doors. Photo from

'Safe' to join public gatherings amid COVID-19 threat, says PH gov't

Feb 18, 2020 - 5:50 PM

Several Cabinet officials including Health Secretary Francisco Duque III tell the public that they can join gatherings with large crowds for as long as they observe DOH-recommended precautionary measures against COVID-19

FACE MASKS VS COVID-19. People wearing face mask look for books during the opening ceremony of 'Big Bad Wolf' book sale in Pasay City on February 13, 2020. File photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

8 more Filipino crew of Japanese cruise ship catch novel coronavirus

Feb 18, 2020 - 5:04 PM

A total of 35 Filipinos working on the ship have caught the virus

QUARANTINED. The Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama, Japan. Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP

Mining giant BHP warns coronavirus could impact demand

Feb 18, 2020 - 4:25 PM

The world's biggest miner warns demand for its products would likely dip due to the novel coronavirus outbreak

A BHP sign adorns the side of their headquarters in Melbourne on February 19, 2019. - Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP posted an underlying profit of 3.73 billion US dollars on February 19, in a lower-than-expected first-half result after a series of operational problems at its mines. (Photo by William WEST / AFP)

FALSE: Cannabis 'kills coronavirus'

Feb 18, 2020 - 4:00 PM

As of Tuesday, February 18, the World Health Organization says 'there is still no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the novel coronavirus'

Stranded OFWs may return to Hong Kong, Macau as gov't partially lifts travel ban

Feb 18, 2020 - 3:57 PM

Some 25,000 Filipinos have been urging the government to let them return to their jobs or homes in China's special administrative regions

STRANDED. Filipino travelers waiting to board their flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Coronavirus cases top 500 on cruise ship off Japan

Feb 18, 2020 - 2:49 PM

(3rd UPDATE) Around 500 passengers will leave the vessel on Wednesday, February 19, after testing negative, a health ministry official says

TESTED. Diamond Princess cruise ship, with people quarantined onboard due to fears of the new COVID-19 coronavirus, is docked at the Daikaku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama port on February 16, 2020. Photo Behrouz Mehri/AFP