Duterte to face nation anew on gov’t efforts to fight COVID-19 spread

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 16 2020 11:00 AM | Updated as of Mar 16 2020 11:16 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte announces the content of the resolution adopted by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) following the meeting at the Malacañan Palace on March 12, 2020. Richard Madelo, Presidential Photo

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte is set to make new pronouncements on Monday on the country’s measures to control the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) which has prompted a “community quarantine” of the capital region.

Duterte will most likely issue the pronouncement during a public address on Monday afternoon, his former aide Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go told ABS-CBN News.

Prior to his announcement, the President will first meet with the government’s inter-agency task force on COVID-19, the Philippine National Police, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Go said.

Duterte’s new directives comes a day after Metro Manila was placed under community quarantine as government sought to contain the outbreak which has claimed 12 lives in the country as of Sunday.

Last week, the President approved the health authorities' proposal to restrict travel in Metro Manila, and to extend the suspension of classes for a month. He also advised Filipinos to stay at home during the quarantine period as a precautionary measure against COVID-19.

More local governments have since placed their respective jurisdictions under “community quarantine” to guard against the spread of the disease.

Philippine Central Bank Governor Benjamin Diokno on Monday said he is preparing to cut the benchmark borrowing rate by 25 basis points or higher later to fight the economic fallout of the coronavirus disease epidemic.

The COVID-19 has killed over 5,000 people and infected some 140,000 others worldwide, prompting the World Health Organization to declare it as a pandemic.

About 80 percent of cases have been mild, while the remaining serious cases that required hospitalization affected mainly people over 60 and those with conditions like diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, US health officials earlier said, citing Chinese data.