DOH urges public to avoid crowded events amid coronavirus alert

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 08 2020 09:53 PM | Updated as of Feb 10 2020 12:45 AM

People wearing protective masks take a selfie during Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations at Chinatown, Binondo, Manila, Philippines, January 25, 2020. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

MANILA—The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday said it "strongly urges" the public to avoid events with large crowds to avoid being infected with the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease).

"To further minimize the risk of contracting 2019-nCoV ARD, the public is advised to avoid crowded places and continue to practice self-protection measures," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.

The department also recommended the cancellation of public events "until further notice," but emphasized it's ultimately up to the organizers to decide.

The deadly 2019-nCoV has killed more than 700 people and infected more than 34,000 others in China, since its outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan in January.

At least 3 cases of the virus in the Philippines have been confirmed by the DOH.

Several countries, including the Philippines, have enforced restrictions on travel to and from China to contain the disease.