Duterte’s foreign trips suspended due to COVID-19 threat: PSG

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 12 2020 06:42 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte’s foreign trips have been suspended as precautionary measure against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Presidential Security Group announced Thursday.

The suspension was based on the recommendation of the Department of Health (DOH), the PSG said on its Facebook page.

“For now, all of [President Duterte’s] foreign travels, especially to those countries with confirmed cases of COVID-19, have been suspended as recommended by the DOH,” it said.

Among the trips that could be affected by the suspension is the President’s supposed participation in the ASEAN Summit in Vietnam next month. 

Vietnam has 35 confirmed cases of COVID-19, latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed.

Earlier, PSG troopers along with personnel of the PSG Station Hospital conducted the disinfection and decontamination of the Presidential palace halls as precautionary measure against the virus.

Earlier in the day, PSG commander Col. Jesus Durante told ABS-CBN News the “precautionary disinfection and decontamination” was focused on areas frequented by Duterte.

So far, the Philippines has 52 confirmed cases of the disease, which has been characterized by the World Health Organization as pandemic due to "the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction." - With a report from Reuters