NCOV - updates

Rappler's latest stories on NCOV

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WATCH: DOH updates on 2019 novel coronavirus

Mar 25, 2020 - 5:49 PM

Bookmark this page for updates from the Department of Health on the novel coronavirus

NCOV BRIEFING. Health Sec. Francisco Duque III with WHO Country Represenattive Dr. Rabindra Abetasinghe briefs the media during a press conference at the DOH headquarters in Manila on January 21, 2020. Photo by KD Madrilejos/Rappler

LOOK: Vulnerable citizens in the time of enhanced community quarantine

Mar 21, 2020 - 2:38 PM

The enhanced community quarantine is now being implemented Luzon-wide to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus

All photos by Rick Rocamora

Cebu imposes mandatory quarantine on arrivals from Iran, Italy

Mar 10, 2020 - 6:09 PM

The Cebu provincial government directive is on top of the travel restrictions endorsed by the DOH

'Caged' Pope Francis receives guests – from afar

Mar 10, 2020 - 4:14 PM

The Vatican releases pictures showing bishops seated in armchairs spaced a meter apart, in keeping with Italian government regulations aimed at fighting an illness that has killed 366 people in Italy in just over two weeks

CAGED. People watch a screen live-broadcasting Pope Francis' Sunday Angelus prayer on St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on March 8, 2020, after millions of people were placed under forced quarantine in northern Italy. Photo by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Incoming Trump chief of staff to self-quarantine

Mar 10, 2020 - 2:08 PM

'Mark Meadows was advised this weekend that now 12 days prior at CPAC, he may have come into contact with the COVID-19 positive test individual,' his spokesman says in a tweet

SELF-QUARANTINE. File photo of US Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC). Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP

China's Xi Jinping pays first visit to virus epicenter Wuhan

Mar 10, 2020 - 12:39 PM

The Chinese Communist Party leader arrives by plane in Hubei's capital for an 'inspection of the epidemic prevention and control work' in the region, says the official Xinhua news agency

China's President Xi Jinping waves as he arrives for a press briefing at the end of the final day of the Belt and Road Forum at the China National Convention Centere at the Yanqi Lake venue outside Beijing on April 27, 2019. (Photo by WANG ZHAO / POOL / AFP)

China quarantine hotel collapse toll rises to 26

Mar 08, 2020 - 12:10 PM

(4th UPDATE) 3 more people are feared still trapped in the rubble, according to state media

RESCUE OPERATIONS. A boy is rescued from the rubble of a collapsed hotel in Quanzhou, in China's eastern Fujian province on March 8, 2020. Photo by STR/AFP

More than 40 rescued from China hotel collapse, say state media

Mar 08, 2020 - 8:57 AM

Officials say around 70 people were initially trapped when the building first crumbled

COLLAPSE. A man is helped out of the rubble of a collapsed hotel by rescuers in Quanzhou, in China's eastern Fujian province on March 7, 2020. Photo by STR/AFP

Coronavirus sparks Holy Communion row in Greece

Mar 07, 2020 - 11:51 PM

'Whoever believes that holy communion is life has nothing to fear, it's a matter of faith,' says bishop Chrysostomos of Patras, one of the areas with the most virus cases

CORONAVIRUS THREAT. In this file photo, Greek Orthodox pilgrims attend a church service following the Epitafios procession at the church of Profitis Ilias in Aimilianos, a village near Grevena, northwest Greece, on April 6, 2018. AFP file photo

Saudi Arabia reopens area around sacred Kaaba amid coronavirus measures

Mar 07, 2020 - 11:08 PM

King Salman allows opening of the Mataf, where people circle the Kaaba, for non-umrah performers

CORONAVIRUS MEASURES. Worshippers take photographs of the Kaaba inside Mecca's Grand Mosque on March 6, 2020, a day after Saudi authorities emptied Islam's holiest site for sterilisation over fears of the new coronavirus COVID-19, an unprecedented move after the kingdom suspended the year-round umrah pilgrimage. Photo by Abdel Ghani Bashir/AFP

Hotel used as quarantine site collapses, traps 70 in eastern China

Mar 07, 2020 - 10:18 PM

(UPDATED) The People's Daily state newspaper reports that the hotel, which opened just two years ago, was recently repurposed to house people who had been in recent contact with confirmed virus patients

COLLAPSE. A man is helped out of the rubble of a collapsed hotel by rescuers in Quanzhou, in China's eastern Fujian province on March 7, 2020. Photo by STR/AFP

Pope to deliver Sunday prayer by livestream due to coronavirus

Mar 07, 2020 - 9:48 PM

The Pope, who suffered from cough, is also pulling out of an annual spiritual retreat south of Rome to stay at home and get well

LIVESTREAM. Pope Francis waves to the faithfuls as he delivers the Sunday Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking Saint Peter's Square, at the Vatican on March 01, 2020. Photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP

PH senators to skip global lawmakers assembly over coronavirus threat

Mar 07, 2020 - 9:44 PM

Philippine Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon says the Inter-Parliamentary Union executive committee is 'reviewing the situation and may decide not to convene the assembly due to the Covid-19 outbreak'

CORONAVIRUS THREAT. Senator Panfilo Lacson at the 141st Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Serbia. Photo from the Senate of the Philippines Facebook page

Office building in Taguig disinfects amid coronavirus case

Mar 07, 2020 - 7:33 PM

The building and other buildings of Neo Property Management property closes Saturday, and reopens Monday

Bethlehem under lockdown after virus cases confirmed

Mar 06, 2020 - 4:33 PM

The Palestinian Authority also announces a two-week ban on tourists and closes down the Church of the Nativity

CLOSED. People wearing masks visit the Church of the Nativity, revered as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on March 5, 2020. Photo by Musa Al Shaer/AFP

U.S. tests stranded cruise ship passengers for coronavirus

Mar 06, 2020 - 3:28 PM

The California National Guard says it has flown test kits to the Grand Princess and the findings are expected to be announced Friday

STRANDED. This handout photo taken and released by Carolyn Wright shows the Grand Princess cruise ship during a cruise to Hawaii in February 2020.  Handout/Carolyn Wright/AFP

Singapore Catholic Church to resume Masses on March 14

Mar 05, 2020 - 9:24 PM

The Catholic Church in Singapore says it has put in place precautionary measures against the novel coronavirus

KEEPING THE FAITH. This photograph taken on February 23, 2020, shows Christian devotees listening to a pre-recorded mass by Singapore Archbishop William Goh on television inside their home as a protective measure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Singapore. File photo by Martin Abbugao/AFP

Switzerland reports first coronavirus death

Mar 05, 2020 - 6:12 PM

The woman was hospitalized in the city of Lausanne with the virus on Tuesday and died overnight

Man locks wife in bathroom over coronavirus fears

Mar 05, 2020 - 4:27 PM

Lithuania police say it intervened in a domestic dispute after a man locked his wife in the bathroom over fears that she may be carrying the coronavirus

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China's Xi Jinping postpones state visit to Japan amid virus outbreak

Mar 05, 2020 - 4:14 PM

The announcement of the postponement ends weeks of speculation of whether the Chinese president's trip would go ahead amid efforts to contain the coronavirus epidemic

CANCELLED. File photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo Naohiko Hatta/AFP

California coronavirus crisis as cruise ship held

Mar 05, 2020 - 2:40 PM

Thousands traveling aboard the Grand Princess – the same cruise ship on which California's first victim was thought to have contracted the virus – are held offshore

VIRUS-HIT. In this file photo One of the biggest world cruise liners in the world, P&O's 'Grand Princess' stays on dock in St Petersburg port, 24 May 2004. Photo by stinger/Interpress/AFP

New normal in virus-hit China: High-tech tracking and fever checks

Mar 04, 2020 - 1:10 PM

China appears to be coming to grips with the virus, but that has come at the cost of new preventive policies that have turned life upside down and are not likely to be swiftly abandoned

TEMP CHECK. A worker wears protective clothing as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus as he checks the temperature of customers entering a supermarket in Beijing on March 3, 2020. Photo by Greg Baker/AFP

Trump says 'very safe' to hold campaign rallies despite virus spread

Mar 03, 2020 - 1:42 PM

'I think it's very safe,' to continue holding frequent rallies across the country, Trump says when questioned in the Oval Office

US President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks to the press while departing the White House in Washington, DC, on August 23, 2019, for the G7 Summit in France. (Photo by Alastair Pike / AFP)

2 new cases of coronavirus detected in Pakistan

Feb 29, 2020 - 11:24 PM

The new cases in Pakistan comes from Islamabad and Karachi

NEW CASES. A commuter wears a face mask on a street in Karachi on February 28, 2020 as Pakistan has detected its first two cases of novel coronavirus. Photo by Asif Hassan/AFP

U.S. game makers conference postponed amid virus fears

Feb 29, 2020 - 7:12 PM

Organizers of the Game Developers Conference says it will be held later this year

POSTPONED. Attendees walk by the Sony PlayStation booth at the 2019 GDC Game Developers Conference on March 20, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP

Japan cherry blossom festivals canceled as virus fears grow

Feb 29, 2020 - 3:17 PM

Other cherry blossom events – feverishly anticipated by locals and tourists – are likely to follow suit

CHERRY BLOSSOMS. This picture taken on March 31, 2019 shows people enjoying cherry blossom viewing in full bloom at Ueno Park in Tokyo. Major cherry blossom festivals, Japan's traditional spring celebrations, have been cancelled, organisers said February 2020, the latest impact of fears over the outbreak of the new coronavirus on events drawing big crowds. Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP

Keep the faith: Singapore churches go online amid coronavirus

Feb 29, 2020 - 2:48 PM

All Catholic masses are suspended indefinitely in the city-state. Catholic leaders have instead been providing pre-recorded services for the faithful to watch or listen to at home via YouTube or church radio.

KEEPING THE FAITH. This photograph taken on February 23, 2020 shows Christian devotees listening to a pre-recorded mass by Singapore Archbishop William Goh on television inside their home as a protective measure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Singapore. Photo by Martin Abbugao/AFP

U.S. postpones ASEAN regional summit due to coronavirus

Feb 29, 2020 - 10:25 AM

US President Donald Trump was set to host ASEAN leaders on March 14

Coronavirus kills 210 in Iran – BBC Persian report

Feb 29, 2020 - 8:56 AM

Iran's health ministry accuses BBC Persian of joining the Islamic republic's regional enemies in a 'race to spread lies' about the Islamic republic

DISINFECT. A Tehran municipality worker cleans a bus to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 illness on February 26, 2020.  Iran said Tuesday its coronavirus outbreak, Photo by Atta Kenare/AFP

'No fear': Pilgrims in Saudi defy coronavirus risks

Feb 29, 2020 - 8:19 AM

Saudi Arabia, home to Islam's holiest sites, suspends entry by foreigners for the year-round 'umrah' pilgrimage, an unprecedented move that has left tens of thousands in limbo

GOD'S HANDS. Muslim worshippers wearing protective face masks walk in the sahn (mosque courtyard) surrounding the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque complex in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca on February 27, 2020. Photo by Haitham El-Tabei/AFP

Cebu Pacific cancels flights to South Korea after PH travel ban

Feb 28, 2020 - 10:49 PM

Passengers affected by the canceled flights may avail of rebooking, refunding, and stored value options

WATCH: Coronavirus fears ruin leap year birthday

Feb 28, 2020 - 5:11 PM

Marian Choi is turning 40 years old on her 10th birthday, but she can't celebrate it

LEAP YEAR BABY. Hong Konger Marian Choi's leap year birthday is spoiled by the coronavirus fears. AFP Photo

Tokyo Disney theme parks to close through March 15 over coronavirus

Feb 28, 2020 - 1:28 PM

Oriental Land Company, the operator of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, says they are closing the theme parks in compliance with a government request to cancel or postpone big events for two weeks

Photo by Kyodo News

Japan gov't says pupils should stay home while schools closed over virus

Feb 28, 2020 - 12:48 PM

Japan's education ministry formally request all elementary, junior and high schools in the country to close next Monday several weeks ahead of the start of their spring break in late March

STAY HOME. File photo of Japanese puplis going to school. Photo by Kyodo News

Olympics chief: IOC 'committed' to Tokyo Games despite virus

Feb 28, 2020 - 10:40 AM

The fate of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has been in the spotlight amid the widening virus outbreak

epa08251597 Visitors wearing face masks walk past the Olympic Rings monument in front of the Japan Olympic Committee headquarters near the new National Stadium, venue of the Opening and Closing Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games, in Tokyo, Japan, 27 February 2020. Preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, scheduled to start on 24 July 2020, continue as planned despite the spreading Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, organizers confirmed. EPA-EFE/KIMIMASA MAYAMA

Taiwan accuses mainland Chinese trolls of sowing virus panic

Feb 27, 2020 - 4:05 PM

'We suspect that mainland Chinese Internet trolls are making up and spreading the false messages based on the content and the phrases,' says Taiwan's Investigation Bureau

This photo taken on February 23, 2020 shows Taiwan flags hung along a street in the Chinatown district in Yokohama. Japan has more than 130 cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus and four have died. Three of those deaths were passengers who had been on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, quarantined off in Yokohama, where the number of infections is now at 630. Philip FONG / AFP

Japan woman tests positive for virus after 'recovery'

Feb 27, 2020 - 3:16 PM

The case is the first time a patient apparently cleared of the virus has subsequently tested positive for it, says a local official in Osaka

People wearing face masks travel on a train in Tokyo on February 25, 2020. Japan has more than 150 cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus and five have died. Four of those deaths were passengers who had been on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, quarantined off in Yokohama, where the number of infections is over 690. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

Crew of virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship to start disembarking

Feb 27, 2020 - 2:09 PM

The disembarkation of about 240 crew members, including many foreign nationals, is expected to last several days, according to the Japan health ministry.

VIRUS-HIT. Photo taken February 26, 2020, shows the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship at Yokohama Port near Tokyo. Photo by Kyodo News

Shincheonji: The secretive sect in South Korean virus outbreak

Feb 27, 2020 - 1:21 PM

At their services Shincheonji members sit close together on the floor without chairs and desks, praying extensively in what critics say creates an ideal environment to spread viral infections

Pedestrians wearing face masks walk in front of the Daegu branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the southeastern city of Daegu on February 24, 2020. South Korea reported 161 more coronavirus cases on February 24, taking the nationwide total to 763 and making it the world's largest total outside China. The country has seen a rapid surge in the number of coronavirus cases -- adding more than 700 cases in less than a week -- since a cluster of infections emerged from a religious sect in the southern city of Daegu. Jung Yeon-je / AFP

Why coronavirus could help save China's endangered species

Feb 27, 2020 - 9:04 AM

However, there are fears that humans could come to blame pangolins for the outbreak, and seek revenge

BABY. A baby pangolin is held up by a human caretaker. Photo by Greg Yann

Saudi bans pilgrims from holy sites over virus as Iran deaths jump

Feb 27, 2020 - 8:48 AM

(UPDATED) China is no longer the only breeding ground for COVID-19 as countries worry about possible contagion from other hotbeds of infection, including Iran, South Korea and Italy

KAABA. Muslim pilgrims circumambulate around the Kaaba ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on August 28, 2017. Photo by Karim Sahib/AFP

Uighur activists say coronavirus measures causing hunger

Feb 27, 2020 - 8:22 AM

In one video believed to have been shot last week, a man is heard shouting at officials, 'I'm starving. My wife and children are starving.'

UIGHUR MUSLIMS. A child of unknown nationality, believed to be of Uighur minority from troubled western region of China, sits in a police truck. Photo by Phuchiss Pirunla Ong/EPA

South Korea starts virus checks on 200,000-plus 'cult' members

Feb 27, 2020 - 8:10 AM

Most of South Korea's novel coronavirus are linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, an entity often accused of being a cult

SPRAY. Market workers wearing protective gear spray disinfectant at a market in the southeastern city of Daegu on February 23, 2020 as a preventive measure after the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Photo by Yonhap/AFP

Philippines observes 'no-contact' Ash Wednesday to beat virus

Feb 27, 2020 - 7:54 AM

Local church officials also strongly recommend that Catholics do not kiss or touch the cross during Good Friday services

SPRINKLES. Catholic faithful wearing masks as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, queue up as a nun sprinkles ash on their heads during Ash Wednesday at a church compound in Manila on February 26, 2020. Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

'Fear and panic' as coronavirus threatens Afghanistan, Pakistan

Feb 27, 2020 - 7:41 AM

'People are illiterate, you can't get the message through to them,' says a Kabul-based physician

FREE MASKS. A volunteer hands out free face masks to people as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Herat city on February 26, 2020. Photo by Hoshang Hashimi/AFP

14% of virus patients discharged in China's Guangdong re-test positive

Feb 26, 2020 - 4:03 PM

The findings suggest that people who recovered from COVID-19 may have to be monitored for an extended period even after they have tested negative for the virus twice

This photo taken on February 11, 2020 shows medical staff members (R) collecting samples from Chinese paramilitary police officers to be tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus as he returns from holidays in Shenzhen in China's southern Guangdong province. The number of fatalities from China's new coronavirus epidemic jumped to 1,113 nationwide on February 12 after another 97 deaths were reported by the national health commission. STR / AFP

Dozens allowed off Japan virus-hit ship have 'symptoms' – minister

Feb 26, 2020 - 1:48 PM

Around 970 were allowed off the boat last week after testing negative for the virus, but several have subsequently been found to be carrying the disease

YIKES. Japan's Health Minister Katsunobu Kato reacts during a press conference on the COVID-19 coronavirus at the ministry in Tokyo on February 25, 2020.  Photo Charly Triballeau/AFP

American soldier in South Korea tests positive for coronavirus

Feb 26, 2020 - 1:05 PM

The soldier, a 23-year-old man, is the first infection among the 28,500 troops Washington stations in the South to defend it against the nuclear-armed North

INFECTED. File photo of a US Marine with South Korean soldiers at the Joint Security Area in Kaesong, South Korea in the DMZ of the Korean border. Photo by Shutterstock.com

China reports 52 more virus deaths, lowest in 3 weeks

Feb 26, 2020 - 10:17 AM

But the disease has now reached dozens of countries

MAKESHIFT. Medical staff work at an exhibition center converted into a hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province. Photo by STR/AFP

South Korea reports 169 new coronavirus cases, total tops 1,100

Feb 26, 2020 - 10:06 AM

An 11th person has died of the disease – a Mongolian man who had been awaiting a liver transplant

HELPER. A South Korean tourist information helper wears a face mask at the Myeongdong shopping district in Seoul on January 29, 2020. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP