DOH recommends halting concerts as new coronavirus continues to spread

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 04 2020 07:18 PM

People line up to purchase face masks in Bambang, Manila on January 30, 2020, amid increasing vigilance over the spread of the new coronavirus. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Concerts and other entertainment shows that will gather crowds should be suspended, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Tuesday, amid concerns over the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). 

The Department of Health (DOH) has yet to issue an official advisory on concerts, but it will "certainly be advising" on suspending such public events, Duque told senators in a Senate inquiry.

"We might have to forego the holding of such concerts in the meantime," he said, responding to a query from Sen. Imee Marcos. 

The government has discouraged the public from staying in crowded, enclosed areas where the deadly novel coronavirus, which has killed over 400 people, can easily be transmitted.

The Philippines has banned travel to and from China earlier this week in a bid to contain the virus. 

Two cases have so far been confirmed in the Philippines- two Chinese nationals who came to the country together from Wuhan, China, the origin of the acute respiratory disease. 

One of them, a 44-year-old man, died on Saturday, becoming the first fatality outside China. The other, a 38-year-old woman, was the first new coronavirus case in the Philippines whose affliction was confirmed last week. She is no longer showing symptoms. 

As of Tuesday, the Philippines has 105 patients under investigation for the virus, the DOH said.