The ANC Brief: World at war with virus


Posted at Mar 25 2020 04:25 AM

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines keeps rising. Here are the stories making the headlines on ANC today:

More cases
The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 552 with 35 dead and 20 people who recovered. The military reported its first confirmed case, a senior official. The Philippines is also due to receive 3,000 test kits from Singapore while a testing center in Marikina has been cleared for operation.

Preventing the spread
The world struggles against COVID-19 as governments take more drastic measures. The United Kingdom adopted stricter measures on gatherings, movement, and store hours. Tourists are stranded in Bali while Brazil is turning a stadium into a hospital. The Tokyo Olympics are likely to be postponed. Singapore closed its borders to tourists and short-term visitors. Hong Kong is also denying entry to non-residents including transit passengers. And China announced it was ending travel restrictions in Wuhan and the Hubei province, the epicenter of the coronavirus.

Semantics and special powers
President Duterte is due to sign by Tuesday night a bill giving him special powers to deal with the spread of COVID-19. But Senate President Tito Sotto III said the bill did not grant Duterte any emergency powers. The bill lays out a series of measures meant to cope with the spread of the coronavirus, including financial help to public health workers and low-income households. It also grants for a limited period special powers to the president including the capability to reallocate funds to programs meant to address COVID-19, a limited takeover of some private enterprises, and exemptions from the procurement law.

Economic impact
Socioeconomic Planning Sec. Ernesto Pernia said it was possible for the economy to contract should the COVID-19 crisis persist. But he hoped the impact on poverty might be transitory. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) urged lending and financing companies to extend debt relief to borrowers. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas further reduced the reserve requirement ratio for banks to pump more liquidity into the economy.

Success story
Carlo Llanes Navarro contracted COVID-19, the virus that has humbled countries, and lived to tell the tale. ANCX spoke to the lawyer, who shared his 15-day battle and survival.