MANILA—Malacañang on Sunday called on Filipinos to be united and to stay vigilant as the country tries to contain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said discrimination and misinformation have no place in these times.
"We must caution those who sow hate, stigma and false narratives vis-à-vis the disease and its origin. They will only exacerbate the already heightened fear among the people by their negativism," Panelo said in a statement.
"Instead of dwelling on the negative, we all should join hands in allaying the apprehensions of the citizenry and contribute to the containment of the disease by observing and following the health protocols put up by the Department of Health and other agencies of the government."
Panelo also thanked Beijing for donating 200,000 surgical masks to the country, and offering to share medical information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
"Such sharing will go a long way in better understanding and containing the spread of nCoV," he said.
Health Sec. Francisco Duque said that, as of Saturday, 24 other individuals considered by government as patients under investigation tested negative for the 2019-nCoV, while authorities await the results of samples from 4 others.
President Rodrigo Duterte has temporarily prohibited the entry of all foreigners from China, while Filipino citizens and holders of permanent resident visa issued by the government coming from China will undergo a 14-day quarantine upon their arrival in the country, his long-time aide Sen. Bong Go told radio DZMM.
Several airlines have also either canceled or limited their flights to and from China.