Updates on the novel coronavirus or COVID-19
Updates on the novel coronavirus or COVID-19
LATEST UPDATE: September 25, 2020 - 4:10pm
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20 hours ago

The Department of Health reports 2,630 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the national tally to 299.361.

69 have succumbed to the deadly virus while 494 have recovered. 

1 day ago

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 978,448 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Thursday.

At least 31,975,020 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 21,891,500 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

1 day ago

Israel toughens its coronavirus measures as a second nationwide lockdown now nearing its second week failed to bring down the world's highest infection rate.

The new rules will close the vast majority of workplaces, shutter markets and further limit prayers and demonstrations. 

"Over the past two days, we've heard from experts that if we don't take immediate and harsh measures, we'll reach an abyss," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says. — AFP 

1 day ago

The Department of Health on Thursday reports 2,180 additional COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, raising the national caseload to 296,755.

The DOH also confirms 580 new recoveries, pushing the total reported recoveries to 231,928. The country's death toll now stands at 5,127 with 36 newly-reported deaths.

Total active case (net of COVID-19 deaths and recoveries) in the country is now at 59,700.

2 days ago

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 971,677 people since the outbreak emerged in China late last year, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Wednesday.

At least 31.6 million cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 21,641,500 are now considered recovered.

The number of cases in Europe topped five million, with a total of 5,000,421  for 227,130 deaths. — AFP

2 days ago

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas quarantined himself on Wednesday after one of his security staff tested positive for coronavirus, a ministry spokeswoman said.

Maas returned a negative result in a preliminary test carried out on Wednesday, she said in a statement.

"The foreign ministry is working with public health authorities to determine whether further people are affected and other measures are necessary," she said, adding that anyone who might have been exposed would be contacted.

Maas was in Brussels on Monday meeting his EU counterparts as well as Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. — AFP

2 days ago

The maker of anti-influenza drug Avigan says it will apply for the medication to be approved for treating coronavirus patients after trials showed it can shorten recovery time.

In a statement, manufacturer Fujifilm Toyama Chemical says its phase III trial in Japan, which began in March, was now complete.

Of 156 individuals described as "analysis targets", the median recovery time was 11.9 days in those receiving Avigan compared with 14.7 for patients given a placebo. — AFP

3 days ago

The United States registers its 200,000th death from the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest grim milestone for the country just weeks before voters decide if President Donald Trump will stay in office.

According to a rolling tally by Johns Hopkins University, 200,182 Americans have died and 6.86 million have been confirmed infected by the novel coronavirus.

The US has had the world's highest official death toll for months, ahead of Brazil and India, with 137,272 and 88,935 deaths respectively. — AFP

3 days ago

The British government announces fresh steps to try to stop a coronavirus surge in England, as the World Health Organization warns that new cases worldwide soared to record levels last week.

The tally of 1,998,897 infections was "the highest number of reported cases in a single week since the beginning of the epidemic", the WHO said, adding that the number of deaths fell compared with the previous week.

The death toll in the United States passed another dismal milestone on Tuesday, soaring beyond 200,000 as cases approached seven million in the world's worst-affected country. — AFP

3 days ago

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 965,760 people since the outbreak emerged in China late last year, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 31,374,240 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 21,338,900 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization, probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

3 days ago

Spain's health minister on Tuesday calls on residents of Madrid to limit their movements and social contacts to the "essential" to put the brakes on a surge in COVID-19 infections, a day afer new restrictions came into effect in part of the region.

Spain is struggling to contain a second wave of the virus, which has already infected over 670,000 people and claimed over 30,000 lives, one of Europe's highest tolls.

Madrid has become the epicenter of the contagion with a rate of infection of nearly 700 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks — nearly three times the national average. — AFP

3 days ago

WHO statistics show the coronavirus pandemic appears to be accelerating worldwide, with new cases soaring last week to a new seven-day high of almost two million, even as new deaths decreased.

In a fresh global update, the World Health Organization says that during the week ending on September 20, 1,998,897 new cases of the novel coronavirus were registered around the world.

That marks a six-percent increase over a week earlier and "the highest number of reported cases in a single week since the beginning of the epidemic," the UN health agency says. — AFP

3 days ago

The Department of Health reports 1,635 more people got infected with the coronavirus disease, which brings the national tally to 291,789.

There are 50 new deaths and 450 additional recoveries.

September 22, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 961,531 people since the outbreak emerged in China late last year, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Monday.

At least 31,110,400 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 21,082,500 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

September 21, 2020

A Chinese primetime TV drama about the coronavirus pandemic has been slammed by social media users, who accused it of sexism for downplaying the role of women in battling the deadly outbreak at ground-zero.

China has largely brought the virus under control since it first emerged late last year, though Beijing has rushed to reshape the official narrative following criticism that it mishandled its initial response and punished whistleblowers.

But the new show, "Heroes in Harm's Way" — first aired by state broadcaster CCTV on Thursday — has triggered a fierce online backlash for its depiction of women in the virus battle.

One controversial scene set in the virus ground-zero city of Wuhan showed female bus drivers being reluctant to volunteer for a delivery team due to family commitments — while their male colleagues did not hesitate.

Users on the Twitter-like platform Weibo re-posted state media news reports praising real-life female bus drivers and volunteers, and argued women had been vital in transporting supplies and medical staff around the locked-down city.

"Women have made such a huge contribution to (fight) the epidemic... The pandemic is still not over, but they rushed to smear (women)," read one comment with over 15,000 likes. — AFP

September 21, 2020

Irish pubs reopened after a six-month shutdown on Monday but many in the capital, Dublin, remained under heightened coronavirus restrictions because of a surge of infections.

All of Ireland's 7,000 pubs were shut by government order on March 16 — the eve of the national St Patrick's Day celebrations — as the country was shut down.

On June 29, those serving food were permitted to reopen, but so-called "wet pubs" providing drinks only stayed shut.

Last week the government confirmed that while all pubs nationwide were permitted to open on Monday, Dublin's drinking-only establishments would remain shuttered. — AFP

September 21, 2020

UK unveils overhaul of virus-hit privatized rail sector — AFP

September 21, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 957,948 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Sunday.

At least 30,849,800 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 20,871,300 are now considered to have recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

September 20, 2020

London's hard-hit live entertainment sector is hoping to prove it can resurrect itself from the coronavirus shutdown — and a series of gigs from a maze of tunnels could show the way to do it.

"Lockdown Town", which opens on October 2, will see socially distanced performances of American music from the 1920s to 1950s in a network of vaulted venues near Waterloo station.

Audiences will have their temperatures checked during staggered arrival times, move from one venue to the next wearing masks, and not stay in one area for more than 15 minutes.

The number of spectators has been capped at a maximum of 360 each evening —  well below the 500-700 capacity in normal times. — AFP

September 20, 2020

Italians head to the polls Sunday — to the alarm of coronavirus experts — for a referendum and regional elections that could weaken the government and radically reshape the political landscape.

Just a week after a Herculean effort by schools to reopen in line with last-minute COVID-19 rules, classrooms across the country will be shut to pupils and transformed into ballot stations for the two-day vote.

A triumph for the far-right in this fiercely fought campaign would sound alarm bells in Brussels.

It will be the first test for Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's center-left coalition government since it imposed an economically crippling nationwide lockdown to fight the virus, which has killed almost 36,000 people.

The referendum, on slashing the number of members of parliament — from 630 to 400 in the lower house, and 315 to 200 in the upper house — is expected to pass, though there has been a late uptick in the number of prominent 'no' declarations. — AFP

September 19, 2020

The Department of Health reports 3,962 additional cases of COVID-19 infections. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines to 283,460.

The Health department also announces 1,128 new recoveries and 100 new deaths.

September 19, 2020

Canada's conservative opposition leader Erin O'Toole tested positive for the new coronavirus, his office announces, one day after another federal party leader did, too.

Both O'Toole and Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet were "feeling well" and were self-isolating, according to statements. 

Each had had close contact with staffers who tested positive for the COVID-19 illness. — AFP

September 18, 2020

Israel imposes a second nationwide lockdown to tackle one of the world's highest coronavirus infection rates, hours before the Jewish holiday season begins.

The three-week shutdown from 2:00 pm (1100 GMT) started just hours before Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, and will extend through other key religious holidays, including Yom Kippur and Sukkot. — AFP

September 18, 2020

Britain's government warns it could re-impose a national lockdown across England to counter the coronavirus pandemic, noting rates of hospitalisation are doubling every eight days.

"We want to avoid a national lockdown, but we're prepared to do it if we need to," Health Secretary Matt Hancock tells BBC television.

"We're prepared to do what it takes both to protect lives and to protect livelihoods," he says, warning of more local measures to come after restrictions were placed on swathes of northeast England from Friday. — AFP

September 18, 2020

The Department of Health registers 3,257 additional infections, bringing the national caseload to 279,526.

There are 47 new deaths and 733 new recoveries.

 

September 18, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 941,473 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Thursday.

At least 29,914,290 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 20,131,400 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

September 17, 2020

India's total coronavirus cases passed five million on Wednesday, health ministry data showed, as the pandemic extends its grip on the vast country at an ever-faster rate.

With its latest one million cases recorded in just 11 days, a world record, India now has 5.02 million infections. Only the United States has more, with 6.59 million.

India has for some time been recording the world's biggest daily jumps in cases, and on Wednesday, the rise was just over 90,000 with a record 1,290 deaths.

While India took 167 days to reach one million cases, the next million came in just 21 days, faster than the US and Brazil, according to the Times of India. 

Just 29 days later, India became only the third country after the US and Brazil to post four million infections. India passed Brazil earlier this month. — AFP

September 17, 2020

The World Health Organization expresses concern over shortening quarantine periods in Europe. — AFP

September 17, 2020

The Department of Health registers 3,375 additional cases of the coronavirus disease. This brings the total number of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines to 276,289.

53 more succumbed to the illness while 317 more have recovered.

September 17, 2020

Wuhan pensioner Zhong Hanneng endured every parent's worst nightmare when coronavirus claimed her son in February, and — alongside other bereaved relatives — she wants to sue the local government she blames for his death.

But they have had their lawsuits abruptly rejected, dozens of others face pressure from authorities not to file, and lawyers are being warned against helping them, according to people involved in the effort.

The families accuse the Wuhan and Hubei provincial governments of concealing the outbreak when it first emerged there late last year, failing to alert the public, and bungling the response, allowing Covid-19 to explode out of control.

It has killed nearly 3,900 in the city and over 900,000 globally so far.

"They say the epidemic was a natural calamity. But these serious outcomes are man-made, and you need to find who's to blame," said Zhong, 67. — AFP

September 17, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 936,095 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Wednesday.

At least 29,633,590 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 19,787,400 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

September 16, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 936,095 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Wednesday.

At least 29,633,590 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 19,787,400 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases. —  AFP

September 16, 2020

The Department of Health reports 3,550 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the national tally to 272,934.

There are 69 new recoveries and 69 new deaths. 

September 16, 2020

Health ministry data show India's total coronavirus cases passed five million as the pandemic extends its grip on the vast country at an ever-faster rate.

With its latest one million cases recorded in just 11 days, a world record, India now has 5.02 million infections. Only the United States has more, with 6.59 million.

India has for some time been recording the world's biggest daily jumps in cases, and on Wednesday, the rise was just over 90,000 with a record 1,290 deaths. — AFP

September 16, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 929,391 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 29,329,390 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 19,536,900 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

September 15, 2020

Hospital bosses in England warn that healthcare services are being jeopardized by lack of access to coronavirus testing,

NHS Providers, which represents the heads of hospital trusts in the state-run National Health Service, says there were "current capacity problems with the testing regime".

Its chief executive Chris Hopson says the government should prioritize health workers, as shortages of tests had caused a slew of staff absences in major cities. — AFP

September 15, 2020

New Zealand announces relaxed quarantine rules for the Wallabies rugby team Tuesday to ensure the All Blacks can host Bledisloe Cup Tests against Australia next month.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie had raised concerns that border controls preventing his squad training together while undergoing two weeks' quarantine would leave them under-prepared for a clash against the All Blacks.

But New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said health authorities had agreed to amend the rules so the full squad could train together six days into the quarantine period. — AFP

September 15, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 924,968 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Monday.

At least 29,061,830 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 19,334,000 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases. — AFP

September 14, 2020

The Department of Health confirms 4,699 newly-reported cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, raising the national tally to 265,888.

The DOH also reports 249 new recoveries, bringing the total reported recoveries to 207,504. The national death toll is now at 4,630 with 259 additional reported deaths.

Active COVID-29 cases (net of deaths and recoveries) in the country now stand at 53,754.

September 14, 2020

A torrid row over Australia's state border closures has pushed the country's prime minister to tears, sparked bitter recriminations among rival regional leaders and even talk of secession.

Travel between the nation's independent-minded states and territories has been mostly banned since Covid-19 hit Australia in March.

But an unhappy federal government is ratcheting pressure on premiers to open up, sending the argument into overdrive.

Campaigning media coverage has highlighted the plight of grieving families separated by the closures and targeted state officials they deem responsible. — AFP

September 14, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 921,097 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Sunday.

At least 28,819,490 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 19,133,300 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

September 13, 2020

The Department of Health reports 3,372 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, bringing the national caseload to 261,216.

The DOH also announces 20,462 recoveries, raising the total number of recovered patients to 207,568.

September 13, 2020

Filipino travelers entering Nigeria would have to follow provisional quarantine protocols, including the presentation of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR at country of departure pre-boarding.

The DFA said the PCR test must be done within 56 hours before departure and preferably within 72 hours pre-boarding.

"Furthermore, passengers/ travelers are required to register via an online national payment portal and pay for a repeat (second) PCR test upon arrival in Nigeria," the agency said in an advisory.

September 13, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 916,372 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Saturday.

At least 28,534,330 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 19,016,500 people are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

September 12, 2020

The Department of Health registers 4,935 new cases of coronavirus disease 2019. This brings the total number of COVID-19 infections to 257,863.

186 more patients succumbed to the illness while 619 additional survivors are recorded.

September 12, 2020

Brazil's death toll from Covid-19 surpass 130,000, amid cautious optimism over signs the virus is finally slowing in the hard-hit South American country.

With the second-highest death toll in the pandemic after the United States, Brazil has been devastated by the new coronavirus, which has now claimed 130,396 lives in the country, according to the health ministry.

Brazil, home to 212 million people, has registered nearly 4.3 million infections, behind only the US and India. — AFP

September 11, 2020

The Department of Health logs 4,040 additional COVID-19 infections, bringing the national tally to 252,964.

566 more have recovered while 42 more succumbed to the deadly illness.

September 11, 2020

Latin America and the Caribbean pass the milestone of eight million cases of COVID-19, days after logging more than 300,000 deaths from the virus, according to an AFP tally of official records.

The region, which is the worst hit in the world, had 8,035,484 cases as of 2200 GMT on Thursday, out of a global total of 28.02 million people infected with the disease.

The region made up of the United States and Canada has the second largest number of infections worldwide, with 6,504,734 cases. Europe is second to Latin America in the number of deaths, with 220,085 fatalities from the disease.

September 11, 2020

Canada's two most populous provinces, seeing an uptick in new Covid-19 cases, vowed Thursday to crack down, with Quebec announcing fines for not wearing masks indoors and Ontario's premier calling for stepped up enforcement of mandatory quarantines.

"We cannot accept that a few irresponsible individuals are putting our entire society at risk. So I think it's time to crack down," Quebec Premier Francois Legault told a news conference.

Wearing a mask has been compulsory since mid-July in all enclosed public places in Quebec, including shops, restaurants, bars, theaters and public transport. Children under 12 and people with health problems are exempt. — AFP

September 11, 2020

France on Thursday registered a record of almost 10,000 new Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours ahead of a key meeting to decide a toughening of coronavirus measures.

Officials are increasingly concerned about the high number of infections in France, even if the death toll and admissions to intensive care are way off the hights recorded in March and April.

The health ministry said 9,843 new coronavirus infections had been recorded, the highest number since large scale testing began, with 71 new clusters confirmed. — AFP

September 11, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 904,534 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Thursday.

At least 27,915,770 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 18,580,400 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

September 10, 2020

The World Health Organization says coronavirus cases in the wider Middle East from Morocco to Pakistan have topped two million.

The caseload for the 21 countries has more than doubled since July 1, the UN agency says.

Regional director Ahmed Mandhari warned that even countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia, which had kept their infection rates under control, were now facing significant upticks. — AFP

September 10, 2020

The Department of Health reports 3,821 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the total number of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines to 248,947.

563 more individuals have recovered while 80 died from the deadly virus.

September 10, 2020

Indonesia's capital Jakarta plans to re-impose a partial lockdown as early as Monday over fears that surging coronavirus cases could "collapse" its under-pressure hospitals, the sprawling city's governor said.

The megacity of some 30 million will see many office buildings and large mosques closed along with restaurants and other entertainment venues, while public transport hours will also be restricted.

The announcement comes three months after an earlier lockdown was lifted, sending infection rates soaring. — AFP

September 10, 2020

The global toll from the coronavirus pandemic has topped 900,000 deaths since it first appeared in China late last year, according to an AFP tally late Wednesday.

A total of 900,052 Covid-19 deaths have been registered worldwide, from 27,711,866 declared cases of the virus. 

Latin American and the Caribbean are the worst-hit region, accounting for 300,340 deaths, followed by Europe with 219,616 fatalities, according to the AFP tally based on official statistics. — AFP

September 9, 2020

The Department of Health logs 3,176 additional cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the national caseload to 245,143.

There are 376 new recoveries and 70 more deaths.

September 9, 2020

Latin American and the Caribbean surpass 300,000 deaths from Covid-19, with hard-hit Peru alone adding more than 30,000 new virus deaths, according to an AFP count of official data.

Brazil continues to be the most-affected country in the region. It also has the third-highest caseload in the world, with 4,162,073 reported cases, and the second-highest death toll, with 127,464.

But Peru, with 93.28 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, has the highest mortality rate in the region, according to a ranking published by Johns Hopkins University. — AFP

September 9, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 893,524 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 27,387,170 cases have been registered. Of these, at least 18,115,200 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

September 8, 2020

The British government may have paid out billions of pounds in erroneous or fraudulent applications for its ongoing wages support scheme, aimed at safeguarding jobs in the coronavirus pandemic, a top official has revealed.

The top civil servant at Britain's tax department, Jim Harra, told a parliamentary committee on Monday that between five and 10 percent of cash used for the government's furlough scheme — equivalent to £3.5 billion ($4.5 billion, 3.7 billion euros) — might have ended up in the wrong hands. — AFP

September 8, 2020

The Department of Health announces 3,281 additional cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the national caseload to 241,987.

26 more individuals succumbed to the deadly virus while 286 more have recovered.

September 8, 2020

China has passed "an extraordinary and historic test" with its handling of the coronavirus, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday at a triumphant awards ceremony for medical professionals decorated with bugle calls and applause.

The nation's propaganda machine has churned out praise for China's Covid-19 response, reframing the public health crisis as an example of the agility and organization of the Communist leadership.

Xi doled out gold medals to four "heroes" from the medical field in front of hundreds of applauding delegates on Tuesday, all wearing face masks and strikingly large red flower pins.

"We have passed an extraordinary and historic test," Xi says, praising the country for a "heroic struggle" against the disease. — AFP

September 8, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 889,498 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Monday.

At least 27,172,460 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 17,892,800 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

September 7, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 880,396 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Sunday.

At least 26,947,550 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 17,709,800 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

September 6, 2020

The government has sent 185,750 Overseas Filipino Workers back to their home regions, according to the latest government data.

Of that number, 9,614 were sent back to their home regions in the first week of September.

The government has been helping send home OFWs who have returned from abroad because of the COVID-19 pandemic since mid-May.

September 6, 2020

China is recasting Wuhan as a heroic coronavirus victim and trying to throw doubt on the pandemic's origin story as it aims to seize the narrative at a time of growing global distrust of Beijing.

The PR blitz plays out daily in comments by Chinese officials and lavish state media coverage of a "reborn" Wuhan that trumpets China's epidemic-control efforts and economic recovery while the United States struggles.

The drive peaked in the past week as Chinese primary schools welcomed back students with considerable fanfare and Wuhan hosted executives from dozens of multinationals, from Panasonic to Dow and Nokia, on a highly choreographed tour of the central Chinese city.

"There are few places in the world today where you don't need a mask and can gather," a Chinese official, Lin Songtian, told the executives, implying that Wuhan was one of those places. — AFP

September 5, 2020

The Department of Health registers 2,529 new infections of coronavirus disease 2019, bringing the country’s total caseload to 234,570.

53 more deaths and 1,136 additional recoveries are registered.

September 4, 2020

The Department of Health reports 3,714 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the total number of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines to 232,072.

The Health department announces 1,088 more recoveries and 49 new deaths.

September 4, 2020

Health officials say New Zealand recorded its first coronavirus death in more than three months when a man in his 50s succumbed to the virus.

"The man in his 50s was part of the August Auckland cluster and died earlier today at Middlemore (Hospital)," the health department says in a statement. — AFP

September 4, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 863,679 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Thursday.

At least 26,074,140 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 17,071,200 are now considered recovered.

 The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

September 3, 2020

The Department of Health reports 1,987 new cases of the coronavirus disease. This brings the total number of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines to 228,403.

880 more people recovered from COVID-19 while 65 new fatalities are registered.

September 3, 2020

Half of all refugee children were already out of school before the coronavirus hit, and the UN cautioned Thursday the pandemic risked deepening a crisis robbing millions of future prospects.

A new report from the UNHCR refugee agency warned that many refugee children, especially girls, who had attended school before the novel coronavirus swept the world would not be able to return.

"After everything they have endured, we cannot rob them of their futures by denying them an education today," UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said in a statement, calling for action to support refugees' right to an education.

The report, using data from 12 countries that host more than half of the world's refugee children, found that more than 1.8 million of them — or a full 48% of all refugee children of school age — are out of school. — AFP

September 3, 2020

Bureau of Corrections spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag says convicted rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez tested negative for the coronavirus disease.

The former mayor underwent a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing for COVID-19 on Monday, which turned out to be negative.

But his early rapid test produced a false positive result, Chaclag adds.

 

September 3, 2020

European experts say inflammatory and immune responses linked to obesity could help explain the likelihood of a more severe outcome among patients with COVID-19.

As the new coronavirus has spread, killing more than 800,000 people globally, it has become increasingly clear that co-morbidities put patients at greater risk. 

In a presentation at European and International Congress on Obesity, researchers say that inflamation caused by a buildup of fat tissue in people with obesity, which is linked to other illnesses such as type two diabetes and cardiovascular disease, could play a role in patients' response to COVID-19. — AFP

September 3, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 857,824 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Wednesday.

At least 25,807,000 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 16,842,600 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

September 2, 2020

China is poised to resume direct international flights to Beijing from several countries with low rates of the deadly coronavirus, aviation authorities said Wednesday, after a freeze of more than five months.

The new rules will apply from Thursday to flights from Thailand, Cambodia, Pakistan, Greece, Denmark, Austria, Sweden and Canada, all with low numbers of imported cases of the virus which has hammered global travel.

But travellers would be subject to centralised quarantine on arrival for 14 days and have to take two Covid-19 tests, a Beijing city official told reporters.

"Starting September 3, international passenger flights to Beijing, which previously had their entry points diverted, will gradually resume," said the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in a statement, without specifying if passengers would have to be nationals of the eight countries. — AFP

September 2, 2020

The Department of Health reports 2,218 additional cases of COVID-19 infections, bringing the national tally to 226,440.

27 individuals succumbed to the deadly virus while 609 more have recovered.

September 2, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 851,321 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 25,533,540 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 17,635,900 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

September 1, 2020

The pandemic has killed at least 851,321 people worldwide since surfacing in China late last year, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT Tuesday.

More than 25.5 million cases have been registered.

The United States has recorded the highest number of deaths with 183,602, followed by Brazil with 121,381, India with 65,288, Mexico 64,414, and Britain 41,501 fatalities.

Peru has taken over from Belgium as the country with the highest per capita death rate with 87 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. — AFP

September 1, 2020

Russia surpassed the one million mark in total coronavirus cases on Tuesday as students throughout the country returned to classrooms on the first day of the new school year.

Health officials reported 4,729 new confirmed infections, bringing the total to 1,000,048 — the world's fourth-largest caseload after the United States, Brazil and India.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was expected to address some 17 million students and more than 1.5 million teachers in an online lesson on World War II.

Schools across Europe are reopening despite the worries of many parents and teachers that the move could accelerate the spread of Covid-19 after leaders said their countries had beaten back the virus and eased restrictions. — AFP

September 1, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 847,071 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Monday.

At least 25,273,510 cases have been registered. Of these, at least 16,355,100 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

August 31, 2020

Schools across Auckland reopened Monday as New Zealand's largest city emerged from lockdown, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressing confidence a second-wave outbreak of coronavirus was under control.

While Aucklanders were allowed out of their homes, the government limited non-school social gatherings in the city to 10 people and made masks compulsory on public transport nationwide.

The Auckland lockdown began on August 12 after four cases were detected in the city of 1.5 million, ending 102 days free of community transmission when it appeared New Zealand had beaten the virus.

The cluster of infections has since grown to 141, with four new cases of community transmission reported on Monday, making it the largest recorded in New Zealand. — AFP

August 31, 2020

The United States neared six million coronavirus cases on Sunday, nearly a quarter of the planet's total, as nations around the world battle to contain the raging pandemic.

Global coronavirus infections soared past 25 million, as countries tightened restrictions to halt the health crisis that has upended life for most of humanity.

A million additional cases have been detected globally roughly every four days since mid-July, according to an AFP tally, with India on Sunday setting the record for the highest single-day rise in cases with 78,761.

The world's hardest hit country, the United States, had recorded 5.99 million cases of infection as of 0030 GMT Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University's tracker. And the death toll is just over 183,000. — AFP

August 31, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 843,149 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Sunday.

At least 25,055,620 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 16,178,500 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

August 30, 2020

India on Sunday set a new virus record when it reported 78,761 new infections in 24 hours, according to health ministry figures, passing the United States for the world's highest single-day rise.

India, home to 1.3 billion people, is already the world's third-most infected nation with more than 3.5 million cases, behind the US and Brazil.

It has also reported more than 63,000 deaths. — AFP

August 29, 2020

The Department of Health reports 3,637 additional cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the national tally to 213,131.

There are 655 new recoveries and 94 new deaths.

August 29, 2020

France says there had been an "exponential" rise in coronavirus cases with more than 7,000 new infections in 24 hours.

"The dynamic of the progression of the epidemic is exponential," France's directorate general of health says, adding that there were 7,379 new infections in mainland France against 6,111 on Thursday and 5,429 on Wednesday.

This was the highest figure recorded since testing was expanded in France. The 4,000-mark was breached a few days ago and the number of infections has been rising steadily. — AFP

August 28, 2020

Nearly 200 coronavirus survivors from a secretive South Korean sect blamed for the country's early outbreak donate blood plasma to help treatment research, as the group seeks to redeem itself.

Scientists have pointed to the potential for treatment using blood plasma containing antibodies to the virus from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.

By far the South's largest contingent of coronavirus survivors is from the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, which is often condemned as a cult. — AFP

August 28, 2020

The Department of Health reports 3,999 new cases of the coronavirus disease, taking the national tally to 209,544.

91 additional fatalities are registered while 510 more have recovered.  

August 28, 2020

According to Johns Hopkins University's real-time tracker, the United States passed the grim milestone of 180,000 coronavirus deaths Thursday,

The US added 931 new virus deaths in 24 hours, the Baltimore-based university reported at 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Friday), bringing the total death toll to 180,527.

An additional 42,859 new cases brought the overall caseload to 5,860,397. The US is by far the hardest-hit country in the world in terms of both number of cases and deaths. — AFP

August 28, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 826,512 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Thursday.

At least 24,229,710 cases have been registered. Of these, at least 15,578,100 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

August 27, 2020

France's prime minister announces face masks will become compulsory throughout Paris, expressing concern over an "undeniable" trend of expanding coronavirus infection in the country.

Jean Castex says 19 more departments have been added to a map with "red" zones of active virus circulation, meaning 21 of France's 94 departments are classified as such. 

Official figures released showed more than 5,400 confirmed new cases in just 24 hours, with admissions to hospital and intensive care units on the rise. — AFP

August 27, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 813,733 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 23,689,860 cases have been registered. Of these, at least 15,098,600 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

August 26, 2020

 The German government says Wednesday it is extending a travel warning for countries outside the European Union until September 14 over ongoing concerns linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

Government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said the decision to extend the advisory against "tourism trips" to so-called third countries — those outside the EU and the no-passport Schengen zone — had been taken in the face of rising infection numbers in Germany attributed to travellers.

The current warning had been set to run out on August 31 but a foreign ministry spokeswoman said that the "very dynamic development" of the pandemic required continued vigilance.

"We are seeing that many countries' infection numbers are continuing to rise or rising again," she says. — AFP

August 26, 2020

The Department of Health reports 5,277 additional cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the national tally to 202,000. 

99 more people succumbed to the deadly virus while 1,131 more survivors are registered.

August 26, 2020

Lebanon says 12 people had died due to the coronavirus pandemic in the past 24 hours in the highest such tally since COVID-19 arrived in the country in February.

The ministry of health also announced 532 new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 13,687 including 138 deaths.

Crisis-hit Lebanon entered a new lockdown on Friday following a string of record daily infection numbers in recent weeks in the aftermath of a massive port explosion in Beirut. — AFP

August 26, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 813,733 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 23,689,860 cases have been registered. Of these, at least 15,098,600 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

August 25, 2020

The Department of Health reports 2,965 additional infections, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines to 197,164.

There are 368 new recoveries and 34 more deaths.

August 25, 2020

South Korea on Tuesday ordered all schools and kindergartens in the greater Seoul region to switch to online classes as authorities battle multiple coronavirus clusters.

The country's "trace, test and treat" approach to curbing the virus has been held up as a global model, but it is now trying to contain several outbreaks, mostly linked to Protestant churches.

South Korea reported 280 new infections on Tuesday, taking the country's total to 17,945. — AFP

August 25, 2020

South Korea orders all schools and kindergartens in the greater Seoul region -- home to half the country's 52 million population -- to switch to online classes as they battle multiple coronavirus clusters.

The country's "trace, test and treat" approach to curbing the virus has been held up as a global model, but it is now trying to contain several outbreaks, mostly linked to Protestant churches.

South Korea reported 280 new infections on Tuesday, taking the country's total to 17,945. — AFP

August 25, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 809,255 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Monday. 

At least 23,463,870 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 14,867,200 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

August 24, 2020

A luxury resort in southern India has turned its swimming pool into a fish farm to stop the business sinking amid the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Normally the 150-meter (500-feet) pool at the Aveda Resort in Kerala state is packed with European tourists. Now thousands of pearl spot fish are causing the splash.

The complex was forced to shut in March when a nationwide coronavirus lockdown was ordered. Few hotels have been allowed to reopen since.

Of those which are still shuttered, not many boast a pool with 7.5 million liters of water, which can be put to alternative use. — AFP

August 24, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 805,470 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Sunday. 

At least 23,263,670 cases have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 14,686,200 are now considered recovered.

 The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

August 23, 2020

India's confirmed coronavirus cases crossed the three million mark Sunday with nearly 70,000 new infections, as the disease continues to surge in the world's second most-populous nation.

The health ministry said 69,239 cases were detected on Sunday, with 912 deaths taking the total number of fatalities to 56,706.

Many experts say, however, that the real scale of the infection is much higher.

Authorities in New Delhi said last week that an antibody study in the megacity suggested more than a quarter of the capital's population had contracted the infection. — AFP

August 23, 2020

The global death toll from the new coronavirus has surpassed 800,000, according to an AFP count on Saturday, with numerous countries ramping up restrictions in an effort to battle an eruption of new cases.

Western Europe, particularly Spain, Italy Germany and France, has been hit with infection levels not seen in many months, sparking fears of a fully-fledged second wave.

And in Asia, South Korea became the latest country to announce it would boost restrictions to try to stem a new outbreak, after largely bringing the virus under control.

Across the world, the number of deaths has doubled to just over 800,000 since June 6, with 100,000 fatalities in the last 17 days alone, while more than 23 million cases have been reported. — AFP

August 22, 2020

Health authorities say the number of new coronavirus infections in Germany topped 2,000 in the past 24 hours, a high not seen since the end of April.

The RKI disease control institute says it registered 2,034 new cases and seven more deaths, taking the total fatalities to 9,267 and confirmed cases to 232,082.

Daily infection counts have increased sharply in recent days, with authorities suggesting large numbers of returning tourists -- some coming from regions with elevated risk of transmission -- may be bringing the virus with them. — AFP

August 22, 2020

 

The Department of Health reports 4,933 new COVID-19 infections. This brings the national tally to 187,249.

There are 26 new deaths and 436 new recoveries. 

August 22, 2020

New daily cases of the coronavirus have been dropping sharply in the United States for weeks -- but experts don't know if Americans will have the discipline to bring the epidemic truly under control.

After exceeding 70,000 confirmed infections per day in July, the country recorded 43,000 cases on Thursday.

Hospitalizations have fallen by a third, and the number of deaths, which has been more than thousand per day should logically follow. — AFP

August 21, 2020

The Department of Health reports 4,786 additional cases of the coronavirus disease, raising the national tally to 182,365.

There are 616 additional survivors and 59 more patients succumbed to the deadly virus. 

August 21, 2020

Global health authorities say European countries should be able to ride out a surge in coronavirus cases without reimposing full lockdowns, as the World Bank warned the crisis could push 100 million people into extreme poverty.

Worrying spikes in cases reported Thursday in France, Italy, Spain and Germany showed the pandemic was rebounding across the continent -- often due to travel, summer holidays and parties.

While Italy registered 845 new cases on Thursday, its highest daily tally since May, France reported 4,700 fresh infections -- a massive increase on the previous day. Spain's daily increases topped even those of France, and Germany was concerned about its own resurgence. — AFP

August 20, 2020

The Department of Health reports 4,339 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the totals of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines to 178,022.

There are 727 new recoveries and 88 new deaths.

August 20, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 781,194 people since it emerged in China late last year, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Wednesday.

At least 22,187,780 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 13,874,900 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization, probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

August 19, 2020

Bamboo rat farmer Liu Yanqun was just starting to make plump returns from the rodents in his farm in central China when the coronavirus broke out at the end of last year.

The killer virus has since been linked to China's wildlife trade, with scientists saying it could have originated in bats and been transmitted to people via another mammal.

In response, Chinese authorities imposed a national ban on the trade and consumption of various animals that are used in speciality regional dishes, including bamboo rats, cobras and civet cats.

The ban has cost tens of thousands of jobs in rural China, where the relatively cheap form of farming of wildlife had once been promoted as a way to lift people out of poverty. — AFP

August 19, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 774,832 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 21,936,820 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 13,623,700 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

August 18, 2020

The Department of Health reports 4,000 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the total number of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines to 169,213.

There are 182 more recoveries and seven new deaths.

August 18, 2020

Marks and Spencer, the British retail chain selling clothing and food, is to cut around 7,000 jobs as the coronavirus pandemic keeps shoppers away from its stores, it announced Tuesday.

The job cuts, to be carried out over the next three months, include losses from its central support centre, in regional management and in its UK stores, M&S said in statement. — AFP

August 18, 2020

Lebanon's health minister warns that hospitals are reaching maximum capacity to treat novel coronavirus patients after the deadly Beirut blast overwhelmed clinics and triggered a spike in COVID-19 cases.

"Public and private hospitals in the capital in particular have a very limited capacity, whether in terms of beds in intensive care units or respirators," the minister, Hamad Hassan, tells a press conference.

"We are on the brink, we don't have the luxury to take our time," he warns, urging authorities to take the "hard decision" to impose a new two-week lockdown to stem the spread of the virus. — AFP

August 18, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 770,429 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Monday.

At least 21,719,870 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 13,399,500 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

August 17, 2020

Thousands of Protestant church members in Seoul have been asked to quarantine, South Korean authorities said Monday, as the country battles virus clusters linked to religious groups.

The country's "trace, test and treat" approach has been held up as a global model in how to curb the virus.

But over the weekend the capital and neighbouring Gyeonggi province — between them home to nearly half the population — banned all religious gatherings and urged residents to avoid unnecessary travel after a burst of new cases sparked fears of a major second wave. — AFP

August 17, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 766,228 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Sunday.

At least 21,500,350 cases have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 13,205,100 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

August 16, 2020

On the second week of modified enhanced community quarantine and the 152nd day since ECQ was first hoisted in March, health officials added 3,420 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the total caseload in the Philippines to 161,253 patients.

Accompanying the new cases are 40,397 new recoveries and 65 additional deaths, bringing their totals to 112,586 and 2,665 respectively. 

August 16, 2020

When veteran Hollywood actor Gregg Daniel was offered an audition for a new movie in Los Angeles, he nearly didn't show up -- the pandemic was well under way, and "no one was shooting."

"I almost hesitated even going to the audition," said Daniel. "I'm African-American, I'm over 50 and disproportionately black people were dying of COVID-19... but the script was so good, and I'm an actor at heart."

Fast-forward to today, and Daniel has completed boxing drama "7th & Union," filmed in the streets of the eerily quiet California entertainment capital.

Thanks to relentless testing, on-set "COVID officers," sanitation stations and enforced social distancing between takes, "everything went smoothly" and safely, said executive producer Jolene Rodriguez.

Yet it is one of just a handful of film productions to resume in Hollywood since Governor Gavin Newsom gave the green light back in June. — AFP

August 16, 2020

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año announces he has tested positive for CVID-19.

"On August 13, 2020, I began experiencing flu-like symptoms including a sore throat and body aches. I began my self-quarantine and got myself PCR tested on August 14. Last night, August 15, I received my test result informing me that I am once again positive for COVID-19. In the meantime, I am being closely monitored by my doctors while I am in isolation," he says in a statement.

"I make this announcement to call the attention of all persons I had close contact with to go on self-quarantine, observe any symptoms in accordance with DOH guidelines, and take appropriate action."

August 16, 2020

British travelers returning home from parts of Europe and beyond began having to quarantine on Saturday under new restrictions.

The UK opted to remove France, the Netherlands, Malta and three other countries from its list of places exempt from self-isolation rules, as a second wave of virus infections threatens more disruption and economic chaos on the continent.

The move, announced late Thursday, sparked a 36-hour scramble for plane, train and ferry tickets among some Britons desperate to get back home before the 4:00 am (0300 GMT) rule change. — AFP

August 15, 2020

The Department of Health reports 4,351 additional cases of the coronavirus disease. This brings the total number of cases in the Philippines to 157,918.

There are 885 new recoveries and 159 new deaths.

August 15, 2020

South Korea tightens coronavirus measures in Seoul and its surrounding areas as the country reported the highest number of new daily infections in more than five months.

The stricter social distancing guidelines include restrictions on gatherings and activities including professional sports, which will be played behind closed doors in the capital area again.

The move came as South Korea reported 166 new cases on Saturday, the highest daily figure since early March, bringing the country's total infections to 15,039 with 305 deaths. — AFP

August 14, 2020

The Philippines logs 6,216 new infections of the coronavirus disease, the Department of Health says.

This brings the total number of COVID-19 infections in the country to 153,660.

1,038 more COVID-19 survivors and 16 more coronavirus-related fatalities are recorded.

August 14, 2020

New Zealand extends a lockdown of its largest city Auckland by at least 12 days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces, as authorities struggled with a growing new coronavirus outbreak.

"Cabinet has agreed to maintain our current settings for an additional 12 days, bringing us to a full two weeks in total," Ardern says

Since four people tested positive on Tuesday — the first cases in community transmission in 102 days — New Zealand has detected a cluster of 30 virus cases. — AFP

August 14, 2020

Health officials say New Zealand's resurgent coronavirus outbreak has spread beyond Auckland in a major blow to efforts to contain the disease.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins says there were 12 more cases of community transmission, and one probable, following the shock re-emergence of the virus in Auckland this week.

He says two of the infections were found in the North Island town of Tokoroa, around 210 kilometres (130 miles) south of Auckland. — AFP

August 14, 2020

Mexico surpasses half a million confirmed cases of COVID-19 after registering 7,371 new infections in 24 hours, authorities say.

The country now has 505,293 cases overall, with 55,293 deaths, the Ministry of Health says. — AFP

August 14, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 750,000 people worldwide since it first emerged in China in December, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources at 1210 GMT on Thursday.

A total of 750,003 deaths have been recorded, out of 20,667,684 cases across the globe. 

Latin America and the Caribbean were the hardest hit region with 228,572 fatalities. — AFP

August 13, 2020

The Department of Health logs 4,002 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the national caseload to 147,526.

There are 1,403 new recoveries and 23 new deaths,

August 13, 2020

New Zealand rushed to track the source of a sudden return of the coronavirus Thursday as the number of new cases in its biggest city rose to 17 and officials warned more infections were inevitable.

National health chief Ashley Bloomfield said there were 13 new confirmed infections in Auckland, all linked to four family members found on Tuesday, ending the country's record of 102 days without community transmission.

The surge in new cases raised the prospect that a three-day lockdown imposed in Auckland since midday Wednesday would be extended as teams of health workers hunted for the cluster's origin and ramped up testing in the city. — AFP

August 13, 2020

New Zealand health officials say a COVID-19 cluster in Auckland had grown, raising the prospect a lockdown imposed on the country's biggest city after the virus returned will be extended.

National health director-general Ashley Bloomfield says a high school student in Auckland had tested positive, taking the number of confirmed infections to five, with another four probable cases.

"This is someone who was a close contact with one of our existing confirmed cases," Bloomfield tells TVNZ. — AFP

August 13, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 743,199 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Wednesday.

At least 20,382,260 cases have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 12,347,300 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

August 12, 2020

The Department of Health confirms 4,444 additional cases of the coronavirus disease. The Philippines now has a total of 143,749 COVID-19 infections.

636 more patients have recovered while 93 died from the deadly virus.

August 12, 2020

New Zealand locks down nursing homes nationwide after a 102-day streak without the coronavirus ended, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the outbreak could force her to postpone next month's general election.

Ardern says authorities were scrambling to trace anyone who had been in contact with four Auckland residents who tested positive Tuesday, ending the dream run in which the virus had been contained at New Zealand's borders.

A three-day stay-at-home order for Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city with a population of 1.5 million, was announced on Tuesday night and went into force at lunchtime on Wednesday. — AFP

August 12, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 736,828 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Tuesday. 

At least 20,122,700 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 12,080,900 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

August 11, 2020

New Zealand records first community coronavirus infections in 102 days.

August 11, 2020

The Department of Health reports 2,987 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the national tally to 139,538. 

280 patients have recovered while 19 died from the deadly virus.

August 11, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 731,518 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Monday. 

At least 19,884,260 cases have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 11,879,100 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

August 10, 2020

Face masks became compulsory in tourist hotspots in Paris on Monday amid warnings of a resurgence of coronavirus cases, as infections in the world's worst-hit country the United States topped five million.

The requirement came as France along with much of Western Europe sweltered in a heatwave, with temperatures soaring above 35 degrees Celsius.

The blistering heat sent crowds flocking to beaches at the weekend despite health warnings about the risk of infection. — AFP

August 10, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 727,288 people since it emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Sunday.

At least 19,674,290 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 11,665,200 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

August 9, 2020

Brazil on Saturday surpassed 100,000 coronavirus deaths and three million cases of infection, crossing the grim milestone after President Jair Bolsonaro said he had a "clear conscience" on his response to the outbreak.

With 100,477 fatalities and 3,012,412 confirmed cases, the South American nation of 212 million people is the second hardest-hit country in the global pandemic, after the United States.

The health ministry reported 905 new deaths in the past 24 hours, as well as 49,970 fresh cases. 

But the official figures are most likely an undercount, with experts estimating that the total number of infections could be up to six times higher due to insufficient testing. — AFP

August 9, 2020

Two new confirmed imported cases of COVID-19 in Taiwan had recently come from the Philippines, Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control says in an August 8 announcement.

The two, identified as Cases 478 and 479, are a couple and are both 60 years old. They had been in the Philippines since earlier this year.

"The male case developed a fever, a runny nose, and fatigue on July 23. The female case experienced an itchy throat and cough on August 3. Their symptoms were relieved after taking medications, but they didn't seek medical attention in the Philippines," Taiwan CDC says.

They returned to Taiwan on August 6 and reported their symptoms to quarantine oficers when they arrived at the airport. They were brought to a quarantine facility and lab tests confirmed on August 8 that they had COVID-19.

August 8, 2020

The Department of Health reports 4,226 new cases of coronavirus disease 2019, bringing the national tally to 126,885.

There are 287 additional survivors and 41 new deaths.

August 7, 2020

Reports say that former Manila mayor Alfredo Lim has been confined at an undisclosed hospital reportedly due to the coronavirus disease.

Lim’s grandson, Manila 1st District Councilor Niño Dela Cruz, earlier requested for prayers for the healing of the former mayor. The post has been deleted. — The STAR/Rey Galupo

August 7, 2020

The Department of Health announces 3,379 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the national caseload to 122,754 in the Philippines.

There are 96 new recoveries and 24 new deaths.

August 7, 2020

The health ministry data show India's coronavirus cases passed two million after a daily jump of more than 60,000 and around 900 new deaths,

India has now recorded 2.03 million infections and 41,585 deaths, according to the ministry's website. Many experts doubt the official figures, however, and say the true numbers may be much higher. — AFP

August 7, 2020

The number of coronavirus cases recorded worldwide has passed 19 million, according to an AFP tally from official sources at 2300 GMT Thursday.

At least 19,000,553 cases and 712,315 deaths have now been registered.

Forty percent of cases were in the United States and Brazil, the two worst-affected countries with 4,870,367 cases (159,864 deaths) and 2,912,212 infections (98,493 deaths) respectively. — AFP

August 7, 2020

The number of COVID-19 cases in Africa has risen to over one million, with more than half registered in South Africa, according to an AFP count late Thursday.

The continent's worst-hit nation has registered 538,184 infections, including over 8,000 new cases on Thursday, and 9,604 deaths.

Egypt has recorded around 95,000 COVID-19 cases while the figure in Nigeria is 45,000.

South Africa's infection figures are the fifth-highest after the US, Brazil, India and Russia. — AFP

August 6, 2020

Germany will introduce mandatory coronavirus tests for travellers returning from designated risk zones from Saturday, the country's health minister said.

Having announced the measure last week, minister Jens Spahn said it would take effect from this weekend, as fears grow over rising case numbers blamed on summer holidays and local outbreaks.

"It is already the case that travellers from risk zones are obliged to either go into a two-week quarantine or provide an up-to-date negative test result," he said at a press conference Thursday.

From Saturday, "travelers entering Germany will have to bring a test result with them or be tested on arrival", he added, confirming once again that the tests would be paid for by the government. — AFP

August 6, 2020

According to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, the United States added 1,262 more deaths to its COVID-19 toll in the 24 hours ending at 8:30 pm Wednesday.

The world's largest economy also added 53,158 new cases of the virus, the Baltimore-based institution's tracker shows.

The US has now recorded 4,818,328 total cases, which have resulted in 157,930 deaths, making it by far the worst-hit country in the world. — AFP

August 5, 2020

The Department of Health reports 3,462 additional cases of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines, bringing the national tally to 115,980.

222 more people recovered while nine more patients succumbed to COVID-19. 

August 5, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 700,000 people worldwide since it first emerged in China in December, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources at 0655 GMT on Wednesday.

A total of 700,489 deaths have been recorded, out of 18,547,833 cases, of whom 10,889,745 have recovered.

Almost half of the deaths reported worldwide were in the four worst hit countries: the United States (156,806), Brazil (95,819), Mexico (48,869) and Britain (46,299).

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has doubled since May 26, and some 100,000 fatalities have been registered in just under three weeks. — AFP

August 5, 2020

The US adds 1,302 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The world's largest economy also adds 53,847 new cases of the virus, the Baltimore-based institution's tracker showed at 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Wednesday).

The US has now recorded 4,765,170 total cases with 156,668 deaths, making it by far the worst-hit country in the world. — AFP

August 4, 2020

Global police body Interpol warned Monday of an "alarming" rate of cybercrime during the coronavirus pandemic, with criminals taking advantage of people working from home to target major institutions.

An assessment by the Lyon-based organisation found a "significant target shift" by criminals from individuals and small businesses to major corporations, governments and critical infrastructure.

"Cybercriminals are developing and boosting their attacks at an alarming pace, exploiting the fear and uncertainty caused by the unstable social and economic situation created by COVID-19," said Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock. 

"The increased online dependency for people around the world is also creating new opportunities, with many businesses and individuals not ensuring their cyberdefences are up to date," he added. — AFP

August 4, 2020

The Department of Health reports 6,352 additional cases of the coronavirus disease. This raises the total number of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines to 112,593.

There are currently 44,429 active cases in the country. 240 patients have recovered and 11 more died from the deadly virus.

August 4, 2020

According to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, the United States added 46,321 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours Monday.

The world's largest economy also added 532 deaths, the Baltimore-based institution's tracker showed at 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Tuesday).

The US has now recorded 4,711,323 total cases, with 155,366 deaths, making it by far the worst-hit country in the world. — AFP

August 4, 2020

Latin American and the Caribbean on Monday surpassed five million coronavirus cases, according to an AFP tally, more than half of which have been registered in Brazil.

Alongside the cases, there have been more than 200,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the region.

Brazil, a country of 210 million, has recorded 2.75 million infections and more than 94,000 deaths.

Only the United States with 4.8 million cases and almost 155,000 deaths has been worse affected than the South American giant. — AFP

August 3, 2020

The Department of Health reports 3,226 additional COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, pushing the country's total to 106,330.

The DOH also announces 275 recoveries, bringing the total number of recoveries to 65,821. The national death toll is now at 2,104 with 46 new deaths.

"With 3,226 additional cases reported today, 2,543 (79%) cases occurred within the recent 14 days (July 21 to August 3). The top regions with cases in the recent two weeks were NCR (1,267 or 50%), Region 4A (445 or 17%) and Region 7 (353 or 14%)," the DOH says.

August 3, 2020

The United States has entered a "new phase" of the pandemic, White House coronavirus advisor Deborah Birx warns, with rural areas just as threatened as major cities.

Birx, who heads the White House coronavirus task force, toells CNN's "State of the Union" that local virus mitigation procedures were starting to work, but added that "what we are seeing today is different from March and April".

"It is extraordinarily widespread. It's into the rural as equal urban areas," she adds. "To everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus."

"We are in a new phase," Birx says. — AFP

August 3, 2020

The number of coronavirus cases recorded worldwide has passed 18 million, according to an AFP tally from official sources at 2240 GMT Sunday.

At least 18,011,763 cases have now been registered as the pandemic's rate of infection continues to accelerate. A million more cases have been detected in just the last four days.

More than half of the world's cases have been recorded in the United States and in Latin America and the Caribbean region. — AFP

August 2, 2020

For Gabriel Gordon and his wife Lena, the small restaurant they opened 14 years ago in the coastal California town of Seal Beach was a dream project and the cornerstone of their future success.

But this weekend, Beachwood BBQ, which had become a staple in the community, permanently shut down — yet another casualty of the carnage the coronavirus pandemic has unleashed on restaurants across the United States.

"This restaurant launched everything for us and allowed us to have a nice life," said Gordon, 43, who is now concentrating his efforts on another restaurant and three breweries he owns. "This is what allowed us to have a nice life and it's heartbreaking to see it close."

According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry — the second largest private sector employer in the US — is among the hardest hit by the pandemic, with losses projected to reach a staggering $240 billion by the end of the year. — AFP

August 2, 2020

The United States counted 61,262 new coronavirus cases in the 24 hours leading up to 8:30 pm Saturday (0030 GMT Sunday), according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

It was the fifth consecutive day with more than 60,000 infections recorded, according to the Baltimore-based university. There were also 1,051 deaths in the 24-hour period.

The US has now tallied more than 4.6 million cases and 154,319 deaths, making it the hardest-hit country in the world. — AFP

August 1, 2020

The Department of Health reports 4,963 additional cases of the coronavirus disease, pushing the national tally to 98,232.

There are 93 additional survivors and 17 more who died from the deadly virus.

August 1, 2020

Hong Kong opens a temporary field hospital with 500 beds to house stable COVID-19 patients as the city battles a new wave of virus infections.

The financial hub had been a poster child for tackling the coronavirus, with local transmissions all but ended by early summer.

But since July the pathogen has returned, with some cases brought in by the tens of thousands of people who were exempted from a mandatory quarantine imposed on most arrivals. — AFP

August 1, 2020

Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman announces that he and his wife, Isabela Mayor Dadah, tested positive for the coronavirus disease. 

"Nitong nakaraang Huwebes, dahil sa inakala naming karaniwang ubo, nagpasya kami ng maybahay kong si Mayor Dadah na magpatest para sa COVID-19," says Hataman in a Facebook post.

"Bumalik na ang resulta. Positive kami pareho," he adds.

August 1, 2020

According to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, the United States counted 1,442 new deaths from the coronavirus pandemic in the 24 hours leading up to 8:30 p.m. Friday.

It was the fourth day in a row with more than 1,200 deaths, according to the Baltimore-based college.

The US has now tallied a total of 153,268 deaths from COVID-19, making it the hardest-hit country in the world. — AFP

July 31, 2020

The Department of Health on Friday records 4,063 new coronavirus cases in the Philippines, pushing the national tally to 93,354.

National death toll is now at 2,023 with 40 additional deaths. The DOH also reports 165 new recoveries, raising the total of recovered patients to 65,178.

July 31, 2020

Vietnam records its first coronavirus death Friday, state media reported, as the pandemic rebounds in a country previously praised for controlling the initial outbreak.

"The first death... is a 70-year-old man who lives in Hoi An city," Vietnam News Agency reports, citing the Ministry of Health. — AFP

July 31, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 667,361 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Thursday.

At least 17,053,650 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 9,759,200 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

July 30, 2020

US President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested delaying the 2020 election, in which he is currently lagging badly in the polls, citing the coronavirus and what he says would be "fraudulent" voting.

"Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???" Trump asked in a tweet.

"With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA," the tweet said.

Only Congress can change the election date, which is set by law on November 3. With Democrats ruling the lower House, that seems highly unlikely to happen. — AFP

July 30, 2020

The Department of Health reports 3,954 new COVID-19 infections, the biggest daily rise since the outbreak started in the Philippines. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases to 89,374. 

The Health department registers 38,075 new recoveries and 23 more deaths.

July 30, 2020

More than 150,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States, according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

The world's worst-hit country announced its first coronavirus-related death at the end of February, and has now recorded more than 4.38 million total cases, the Baltimore-based university reports. — AFP

July 30, 2020

Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla says they will soon launch the biggest COVID-19 testing laboratory in the Philippines.

"The biggest TESTING laboratory in the country is about to open at DLSU Dasmariñas: 3,000 tests a day, 7 days a week," says Remulla in a Facebook post.

"We are building 2 more laboratories to service the province," he adds.

July 30, 2020

More than 150,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States, according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

The world's worst-hit country announced its first coronavirus-related death at the end of February, and has now recorded more than 4.38 million total cases, the Baltimore-based university reported Wednesday. — AFP

July 29, 2020

A study shows one in five patients hospitalized in Germany over the coronavirus succumbed to the disease, with the fatality rate rising to 53 percent for those who received ventilation.

Data of 10,000 patients admitted to 930 German hospitals between February 26 and April 19 were analyzed by the German Interdisciplinary Association of Critical Care and Emergency Medicine, the Technical University of Berlin and AOK health insurance group's research arm WIdO.

Hospitalized male patients had a higher mortality rate than women, with 25% compared to 19%. — AFP

July 29, 2020

The Department of Health reports 1,874 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the national tally in the Philippines to 85,486.

388 have recovered while 16 died from the deadly virus.

July 29, 2020

Pharma giants Sanofi and GSK say they have agreed to supply Britain with up to 60 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

The agreement covers a vaccine candidate developed by France's Sanofi in partnership with the UK's GSK and is subject to a "final contract".

Amid a global race to find a vaccine to halt the pandemic, Sanofi announces "ongoing discussions with the European Commission, with France and Italy on the negotiation team, and other governments to ensure global access to a novel coronavirus vaccine." — AFP

July 29, 2020

Florida's coronavirus death toll surpasses 6,000 as the disease claims another 186 lives in its relentless march through the southeast US state, health officials say.

The so-called Sunshine State is now second only to California in total number of COVID-19 cases with 441,997, an increase of 9,230 from the day before.

The latest cases put it ahead of New York, an early epicenter of the global pandemic which has wreaked havoc in the United States. — AFP

July 28, 2020

Iran reports 235 new deaths from the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, a record toll for a single day in the Middle East's hardest-hit country.

"We have lost 235 of our compatriots due to COVID-19 in the past 24 hours," taking the overall toll to 16,147, says health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari. — AFP

July 28, 2020

The Department of Health reports 1,678 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the total infection count in the Philippines to 83,673.

There are 173 additional recoveries and four new deaths.

July 28, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri announces he tested negative for COVID-19 again.

"What the infectious disease experts have told us is that the DOH result yesterday possibly detected remnants of dead virus cells which is a common occurrence with recovered patients," says the senator.

"But just to be sure and safe, I will still continue my quarantine for the prescribed period," he adds.

July 28, 2020

Johns Hopkins University reports in its real-time tally that the United States on Monday recorded 57,039 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours,

The US is the hardest-hit country in terms of both death toll and total caseload, which stood at 4,286,663 as of 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Tuesday), according to the Baltimore-based university.

An additional 679 deaths brought the overall death toll to 147,588. — AFP

July 28, 2020

The global death toll from the coronavirus pandemic passed 650,000 on Monday, with nearly a third of that number in Europe, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources at 1600 GMT.

Since emerging in China late last year, the virus has killed a total of 650,011 people and infected 16,323,558, of which 9,190,345 have been declared recovered. More than 100,000 new deaths have been recorded since July 9, and the global toll has doubled in just over two months. — AFP

July 27, 2020

The Department of Health announces 1,657 additional infections, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines to 82,040.

359 have recovered while 16 people succumbed to the deadly virus.

July 27, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 645,715 people since emerging in China late last year, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Sunday.

At least 16,072,290 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 9,061,300 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

July 26, 2020

North Korea declared its first suspected coronavirus case on Sunday, becoming one of the last countries to do so as the number of people infected worldwide passed 16 million.

The isolated, impoverished state had until now insisted it had not detected a single COVID-19 case — even as the pandemic swept the planet, overwhelming health systems and trashing the global economy.

At least 645,000 people around the world have succumbed to the respiratory disease, with North Korean arch-rival the United States the worst-hit country by far.

"The vicious virus could be said to have entered the country," leader Kim Jong Un said, according to the official KCNA news agency. — AFP

July 25, 2020

The Department of Health reports 2,019 additional cases of coronavirus disease 2019, bringing the total infection count in the Philippines to 78,412.

There are  1,278 additional survivors and 20 more deaths.

July 25, 2020

Vietnam has detected its first locally-transmitted case of coronavirus in nearly 100 days, authorities say, in a country whose swift and full lockdown won praise for controlling the spread of the disease. 

"Patient 416" is a 57-year-old retired Vietnamese man in the southern city of Danang, and the first community transmission since April 16.

Local health officials have tested 105 people who had been in close contact with him, the Ministry of Health says on its website. — AFP

July 25, 2020

According to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University, the United States on Friday recorded more than 70,000 new coronavirus cases and more than 1,000 deaths in a 24-hour period for the second day running.

The world's hardest-hit country registered 73,795 new cases of COVID-19 with 1,157 additional deaths, the Baltimore-based university's real-time tracker indicated at 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Saturday).

That brings the country to a total of 4.1 million infections, which have resulted in 145,324 fatalities. — AFP

July 25, 2020

The World Health Organization expresses concern over a coronavirus resurgence in Europe as Britain and Austria tightened restrictions and China stepped up testing.

Europe accounts for a fifth of the world's more than 15 million cases and remains the hardest hit in terms of deaths, with 207,118 out of 633,711 worldwide, according to an AFP tally at 1100 GMT Friday.

The WHO's European chapter pointed to rising cases on the continent over the past two weeks, stressing the need for tighter measures, if required. — AFP

July 24, 2020

The Department of Health reports 2,103 new cases of the coronavirus disease, which brings the total number of COVID-19 infections to 76,444.

144 patients have recovered and 15 more died from the deadly virus.

July 24, 2020

Official data show India's death toll from the novel coronavirus overtook France's with 30,601 fatalities and nearly 50,000 new cases overnight.

The death toll is the sixth-biggest behind the US, Brazil, Britain, Mexico and Italy, according to an AFP tally. It has the third-highest caseload with almost 1.3 million infections.

In the past 24 hours the country recorded 740 new deaths from the virus and 49,310 fresh infections, according to the health ministry. — AFP

July 24, 2020

The United States records over four million cases of coronavirus on Thursday, Johns Hopkins University reports in its real-time tally.

With a total of 4,005,414 cases and more than 143,000 deaths, the United States is by far the hardest-hit country in the world, with Brazil and India trailing in second and third place for infection numbers. — AFP

July 23, 2020

The Department of Health reports 2,200 additional infections of the coronavirus disease, which brings the sum of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines to 74,390.

The are 760 new recoveries and eight new deaths. 

July 23, 2020

Johns Hopkins University reports that the United States recorded 63,967 new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours,

That brought the total number of cases in the world's hardest-hit country to 3,955,860, the Baltimore-based university says. 

Another 1,059 deaths were reported, bringing the country's total fatalities to 142,942. — AFP 

July 23, 2020

More than four million coronavirus cases have been recorded in Latin America and the Caribbean, half of them in Brazil, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.

The region is one of the hardest-hit in the world, with 4,040,925 recorded COVID-19 cases and 172,886 deaths. Brazil alone has registered 2.2 million cases, the second-highest number in the world after the United States. — AFP

July 22, 2020

Britain's trade unions have seen a resurgence during the coronavirus outbreak as more people worry about layoffs, working conditions and the knock-on effects of lockdown.

But their growing strength could yet be weakened by a wave of job cuts sweeping the country, which is predicted to worsen in the coming months. 

Unions have seen an increase in membership during the health crisis, despite the tens of thousands of redundancies already announced. 

New members have especially come from those hardest hit by the outbreak, such as aviation, leisure and hospitality. 

Unite, Britain's biggest union, which has 1.4 million members, has been prominent in speaking out about job cuts. — AFP

July 22, 2020

Beijing accuses the United States of "slander" after two Chinese nationals were indicted for seeking to steal coronavirus vaccine research and hacking hundreds of companies.

"The Chinese government is a staunch defender of cyber security, and has always opposed and cracked down on cyber attacks and cyber crime in all forms," says foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.

The US must "immediately stop its slander and smearing of China on cyber security issues," he tells a regular press briefing in Beijing. — AFP

July 22, 2020

Australia reports a record 502 new coronavirus infections, nearly four months after the epidemic initially peaked, with authorities warning the country was entering a critical new phase.

Most of the new cases were reported in the southeastern state of Victoria, where authorities have struggled to bring an outbreak in Melbourne under control despite an almost two-week lockdown in Australia's second-biggest city.

Australia's new coronavirus infections previously peaked on March 28 when 459 cases were reported, according to data compiled by AFP. 

July 22, 2020

Johns Hopkins University reports in its real-time tally that the United States recorded 68,524 new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours,

The country, which is the world's hardest-hit, has now registered a total of 3,891,893 infections, the Baltimore-based university says. 

Another 961 more deaths were recorded, bringing total fatalities to 141,883. — AFP

July 22, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 610,604 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 14,736,130 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 8,150,900 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

July 21, 2020

The Health department registers more 1,951 patients of the coronavirus disease 2019, bringing the national tally to 70,764.

It also reports two more deaths and 209 additional recoveries.

July 21, 2020

Officials say Brazil will begin advanced clinical testing of a Chinese-made vaccine against the new coronavirus, issuing the first doses to around 900 volunteers.

The coronavirus vaccine, developed by private Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac, is the third in the world to enter Phase 3 trials, or large-scale testing on humans -- the last step before regulatory approval.

It will be administered to doctors and other health workers who volunteer for the program across six states in Brazil, one of the countries hit hardest by the pandemic. — AFP

July 21, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 606,605 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Monday.

At least 14,528,490 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 7,935,600 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

July 20, 2020

The guardians of the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London are facing job losses because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on tourism, the charity running the venue said Monday.

Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) said it had "no choice" but to cut costs, as the crisis had slashed visitor numbers and revenues.

The red-coated "Beefeaters" at the Tower and other employees at six sites managed by HRP could opt for voluntary redundancy as of last month.

But as the full extent of COVID-19's impact on the UK economy becomes clear, they will likely now face compulsory layoffs. — AFP


 

July 20, 2020

At least 14 prisoners have died from likely COVID-19 complications in scantly-monitored outbreaks of the disease at Egyptian detention centres, Human Rights Watch says Monday.

"At least 14 prisoners and detainees have died, most likely from COVID-19 complications, in 10 detention facilities as of July 15," the rights groups says  in a statement. 

HRW based its report on witness accounts, leaked letters from prisons and reports by local rights groups. 

"Prisons had insufficient medical care and virtually no access to testing for the virus or symptom screening," it also says. — AFP

July 19, 2020

After months of working from home, stir-crazy Americans have finally reached the long, hot days of summer only to watch their vacation horizons dim, with travel options shrinking as the country's coronavirus cases soar.

"All I've been doing this year is canceling trips," 61-year-old Keith Gibbons said with a sigh, a new reality that the government contractor called "very frustrating."

Trips abroad are mostly out: The overwhelming majority of countries now bar American citizens amid a sharp US resurgence of COVID-19. The country's caseload has climb to over 3.7 million — more than one-fourth the world's total — and deaths have reached over 140,000. — AFP

July 19, 2020

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he will only impose another nationwide coronavirus lockdown as a last resort, comparing the tool to "a nuclear deterrent" in a Sunday newspaper interview.

Johnson, who is hoping Britain can return to "normality" by Christmas despite fears of a second wave of cases over winter, insisted the country was getting better at tackling the virus. 

The UK has been among the worst-hit countries in the world by COVID-19, registering the highest death toll in Europe. — AFP

July 18, 2020

The Department of Health reports 2,357 new cases of the coronavirus disease. This brings the total number of COVID-19 infections to 65,304.

There are 321 new recoveries and 113 new deaths.

July 17, 2020

 

The Department of Health registers 1,841 additional cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the national tally to 63,001.

311 recently recovered while 17 died from the deadly virus.

July 17, 2020

France's President Emmanuel Macron says that the European Union was facing a "moment of truth", as leaders gathered for a summit to negotiate a huge post-coronavirus recovery plan.

"It's our European project that in play here," Macron says, as he arrived at the first face-to-face Brussels summit for five months, held under social distancing rules. — AFP

July 17, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 585,750 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Thursday.

At least 13,660,780 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 7,442,700 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

July 16, 2020

The Department of Health reports 2,498 new cases of the coronavirus disease. This brings the total number of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines to 61,266.

There are 467 new recoveries and 29 new deaths.

July 16, 2020

Latin America and the Caribbean top 150,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday, almost half of which have been recorded in Brazil, a tally by AFP showed. 

The region, with 3,540,060 total cases and 151,022 fatalities, is the area second-hardest-hit after Europe, where a total of 203,793 people have died. — AFP

July 15, 2020

The Department of Health reports 1,392 additional cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the total number of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines to 58,850.

517 patients have recovered while 11 more died from the deadly virus. 

July 15, 2020

Health Secretary Franciso Duque III says the Philippines has "successfully flattened the curve since April," ABS-CBN News reports.

He says that the case doubling time and mortality doubling times have become longer, suggesting the disease is spreading at a slower rate.

July 15, 2020

The Department of Public Works and Highways chief Mark Villar announces that he tested positive for the coronavirus disease.

"I regret to announce that today, July 15, I received my test result and it is positive for COVID-19," Villar says in a Facebook post.

July 15, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 574,278 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 13,178,180 cases have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 7,096,000 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

July 14, 2020

State media reports that Chinese authorities have pressed criminal charges against 23 people for illegal building alterations that led to the collapse of a quarantine hotel in which 29 people died and 42 were injured in March.

The 66-room Xinjia Hotel in southern China's Quanzhou city collapsed on March 7, burying dozens of people who had been made to quarantine there because of their recent travel to regions hard hit by COVID-19.

An official investigation found that three floors had been added illegally to the hotel's original four-story structure, and safety assessors had colluded with the hotel's owner to produce false reports about the building, state broadcaster CCTV says. — AFP

July 14, 2020

The Department of Health reports 634 new cases, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines to 57,545.

There are 88 new recoveries and six new deaths.

July 14, 2020

More than 13 million coronavirus infections have now been recorded across the world, with more than half in the United States and Latin America, according to an AFP tally of official sources at 2000 GMT on Monday.

At least 13,000,166 cases and 569,990 deaths have been recorded and the United States is the worst-hit country with 3,341,838 cases and 135,425 deaths, the tally showed. 

The number of cases stood at 3,380,218 in Latin America and the Caribbean, including 144,847 fatalities. And in Europe, 2,849,335 infections have been recorded and 202,780 deaths.  — AFP

July 13, 2020

Two US Marine bases in Japan's Okinawa have been put into lockdown after dozens of coronavirus infections, with local officials criticising the American military's containment efforts.

There are tens of thousands of US servicemen stationed on the southern Japanese island, which has recorded roughly 150 civilian COVID-19 infections.

Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Monday that 62 cases have been detected in recent days in US forces, most of them at US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and Camp Hansen. — AFP

July 13, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 566,075 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT Sunday.

At least 12,798,410 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 6,811,600 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

July 12, 2020

The novel coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 20,000 people across the Middle East, half of them in Iran, according to an AFP tally at 1000 GMT Sunday based on official tolls.

But despite having 907,736 reported infections and 20,005 deaths from the COVID-19 illness, the Middle East has been relatively lightly hit by the virus which has killed over half a million people across the globe.

Iran, which has been struggling to contain the outbreak since announcing its first cases in February, has reported more than 12,829 deaths and 257,303 infections, according to Sunday's official figures. — AFP

July 12, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 565,363 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Sunday.

At least 12,741,270 cases have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 6,792,900 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP
 

July 12, 2020

The United States, the country hardest hit by the coronavirus, on Saturday posted 66,528 new cases, a record for a 24-hour period, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

The country has now recorded a total of 3,242,073 infections, the Baltimore-based university said in its latest data as of 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Sunday).

The death toll stood at 134,729 with 760 additional deaths counted. — AFP

July 11, 2020

The Department of Health reports 1,387 additional cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the total number of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines to 54,222.

There are 807 new recoveries and 12 new deaths.

July 11, 2020

The United States records 63,643 new coronavirus cases, according to a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

As of 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Saturday), 774 people died of COVID-19 in the country in the past 24 hours, the Baltimore-based university says. 

The worst-hit country in the world by the pandemic, the US has recorded a total of 133,969 deaths out of 3.18 million cases. — AFP

July 11, 2020

The US welcomes the World Health Organization's probe into the origins of the novel coronavirus in China, its ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva says.

"We welcome the WHO's investigation. We view the scientific investigation as a necessary step to having a complete and transparent understanding of how this virus has spread throughout the world," ambassador Andrew Bremberg tells reporters.

It was an unexpected endorsement, given that the WHO has faced fierce US criticism over its handling of the coronavirus crisis. — AFP

July 10, 2020

The Department of Health reports 1,233 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the total infection count in the Philippines to 52,914.

There are 286 new recoveries and 42 more deaths. 

July 10, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs initiates coordination and exchanges of information with different jurisdictions across the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Africa and Middle East about COVID-19 vaccine developments.

"Based on the gathered information by the Department, collaboration with Philippine subsidiaries of vaccine developers, engagement with those overseas for conduct of clinical trials, utilization of multilateral efforts to ensure vaccine access, and bilateral cooperation are key efforts that must be pursued to ensure that a viable vaccine can be made available and accessible for Filipinos," the DFA says in a statement.

July 10, 2020

The US posts 65,551 new coronavirus cases, a record for a 24-hour period, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The country, the hardest-hit in the world by the pandemic, has a total caseload of more than 3.1 million, with 133,195 deaths. 

The previous daily record was Tuesday, with more than 60,200 cases in one day. — AFP

July 10, 2020

Bolivia's interim President Jeanine Anez announced on Thursday that she has tested positive for coronavirus.

"I've tested positive for COVID-19, I'm fine, I will work from isolation," she tweeted.

The 53-year-old said in a video on Twitter that she would remain in quarantine for 14 days before taking another test. — AFP

July 10, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 550,910 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Thursday. 

At least 12,123,290 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 6,461,200 are now considered recovered. 

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

July 9, 2020

Another 1.3 million US workers filed for unemployment benefits last week, as the slowdown in the pace of layoffs amid the coronavirus crisis continued, the government reported Thursday.

The figure for the week ended July 4 was 99,000 lower than the prior week, showing a steady decline as the world's largest economy gradually reopens and workers are recalled to their jobs.

But the level remains far higher than any pre-pandemic week. In the same week of 2019, only 211,000 people filed initial claims for jobless benefits. — AFP

July 9, 2020

More than 12 million coronavirus infections have now been recorded across the world, over half in the United States and Latin America, according to an AFP tally of official sources.

At least 12,063,425 cases and 549,451 deaths have been recorded, with the number of infections doubling since May 31. About half of those who caught the virus have recovered.

With 3,055,101 cases and 132,309 deaths, the United States is the worst-hit country, with Brazil second having registered 1,713,160 cases and 67,964 deaths. — AFP

July 9, 2020

The Department of Health announces 1,395 new cases of the coronavirus disease. This brings the total number of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines to 51,754.

225 patients have recovered while no one died from the deadly virus based on the DOH tally update as of July 9. 

July 9, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 545,414 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Wednesday.

At least 11,906,470 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 6,295,700 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

July 8, 2020

Shoppers in Australia's second-biggest city stripped supermarket shelves Wednesday as millions in Melbourne prepared for a return to virus lockdown, with warnings the new restrictions could prompt a mental health crisis.

Five million residents were ordered back into a six-week lockdown beginning midnight Wednesday into Thursday as soaring community transmission of the coronavirus brings more than 100 new cases daily.

A further 134 infections were detected in the past 24 hours — small in comparison to the tens of thousands in hard-hit countries such as the US and Brazil, but considered a major spike in Australia, which had otherwise been successful in containing COVID-19. — AFP

July 8, 2020

The United States, the country hardest hit by the coronavirus, on Tuesday posted 60,209 new cases, a record for a 24-hour period, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

The country was just shy of three million cases, at 2,991,351, the Baltimore-based university said in its latest data as of 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Wednesday).

The death toll stood at 131,362, with 1,114 additional deaths counted. — AFP

July 8, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 539,620 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 11,693,770 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 6,145,500 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

July 7, 2020

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was accused Tuesday of trying to rewrite history for appearing to blame the deadly spread of coronavirus in care homes on the institutions themselves.

Britain has suffered the worst death toll in Europe from the virus, with more than 44,000 confirmed deaths, and care homes have suffered badly.

The government initially said it did not believe care homes were at particular risk, and has been slow to roll out testing of both staff and patients. — AFP

July 7, 2020

The Department of Health reports 1,540 additional cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the total number of COVID-19 infections to 47,873.

There are 201 new recoveries and six new deaths.

July 7, 2020

More than five million residents of Melbourne will be locked down for six weeks after coronavirus cases surged in Australia's second-biggest city, authorities announced Tuesday.

State Premier Daniel Andrews said the lockdown would begin at midnight Wednesday and last at least six weeks, as he warned residents "we can't pretend" the coronavirus crisis is over.

After the south-eastern city detected 191 new cases in 24 hours, Andrews said there were now too many incidents of the virus to trace and track. — AFP

July 7, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 535,025 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Monday.

At least 11,522,750 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 6,016,500 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

July 6, 2020

Chinese authorities on Monday detained a law professor who published essays criticising President Xi Jinping over the coronavirus pandemic and his efforts to consolidate power, according to friends of the man. 

Xu Zhangrun, a rare outspoken critic of the government in China's heavily censored academia, was taken from his home in suburban Beijing by more than 20 people, one of his friends said on condition of anonymity.

Xu published an essay in February blaming the culture of deception and censorship fostered by Xi for the spread of the coronavirus in China. — AFP

July 6, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 531,789 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Sunday.

At least 11,343,890 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 5,906,500 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

July 5, 2020

The United States notched more than 43,000 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours, a tally by Johns Hopkins University showed Saturday, amid a surge of infections around the country.

The Baltimore-based university's tracker showed 43,742 more cases as of 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Sunday), bringing the country's total number of cases since the pandemic began to 2,836,764.

The university also recorded a further 252 fatalities, bringing the total death toll to 129,657. — AFP

July 4, 2020

The Department of Health reports 1,494 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the Philippines to 41,830. 

There are 380 new recoveries and 10 new deaths.

July 4, 2020

A tally by Johns Hopkins University shows the US notched 57,683 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours Friday, the third consecutive day with record numbers of new infections.

The Baltimore-based university's tracker showed the total number of cases since the pandemic reached the US at 2,793,022 as of 8:30 pm (0030 Saturday GMT).

The university also records a further 728 fatalities, bringing the total US death toll to 129,405. — AFP

July 3, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 521,384 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP on Friday. 

At least 10,887,320 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 5,585,100 are now considered recovered. — AFP

July 3, 2020

The Department of Health says there are 1,531 additional cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the total number of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines to 40,336.

400 patients have recovered while six died from the deadly virus.

July 3, 2020

The US notches more than 53,000 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours Thursday, a tally by Johns Hopkins University shows, a new one-day record as infections surge around the country.

The Baltimore-based university's tracker shows 53,069 more cases as of 8:30 pm (0030 Friday GMT), bringing the total number of cases since the pandemic reached the US to 2,735,339.

The university also records a further 649 fatalities, bringing the total death toll to 128,677.

The second consecutive day of a record-high case count comes as the United States — the hardest-hit country in the world in the coronavirus pandemic — heads into the July Fourth holiday weekend. — AFP

July 3, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 517,416 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Thursday. 

At least 10,769,890 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 5,454,100 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

July 2, 2020

The Department of Health reports 294 more COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of COVID-19 infections to 38,805 in the Philippines. 

There are four new deaths and 235 new recoveries.

July 2, 2020

Nigeria will resume domestic flights from next Wednesday, the aviation minister said, in a move to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

Nigeria shut its airspace in March to contain the  spread of the novel coronavirus that has so far infected 26,484 people and claimed 603 lives.

"I am glad to announce that Abuja and Lagos airports will resume domestic operations on the 8th of July, 2020," Hadi Sirika said on Twitter, referring to the airports serving the national capital and the country's economic hub. — AFP

July 2, 2020

A tally by Johns Hopkins University shows the US notched more than 52,000 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours Wednesday, a new one-day record as infections surge around the country.

The Baltimore-based university's tracker shows 52,898 more cases as of 8:30 pm (0030 Thursday GMT), bringing the total number of cases since the pandemic reached the United States to 2'682,270. 

The university also records a further 706 fatalities, bringing the total death toll to 128,028. — AFP

July 2, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 512,383 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Wednesday. 

At least 10,564,050 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 5,341,000 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

July 1, 2020

The Department of Health reports 999 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines to 38,511. 

There are 205 new recoveries and four new deaths. 

July 1, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 506,818 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 10,372,230 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 5,207,900 are now considered recovered. 

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 30, 2020

US President Donald Trump's administration is considering further steps to provide aid to businesses and workers harmed by efforts to contain the coronavirus, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday.

Mnuchin said the "tremendous amount of funding" already approved by Congress is helping to shore up the economy, which should improve in the latter half of the year.

But any additional relief "would be targeted to certain industries that have been especially hard-hit by the pandemic, with a focus on jobs and putting all American workers who lost their jobs, through no fault of their own, back to work," he said in testimony prepared for delivery to the House Financial Services Committee. — AFP

June 30, 2020

The Department of Health reports 1,080 new cases of the coronavirus disease, which brings the total number of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines to 37,514.

277 patients have recovered while 11 died from the deadly virus.

June 30, 2020

According to the Johns Hopkins University tally, the United States recorded at least 42,000 coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours as the country confronts a rapid surge in the disease.

The new infections, concentrated in southern and western states, bring the total number of infections in the US to nearly 2.6 million, according to the Baltimore-based institution at 8:30pm (0030 GMT Tuesday).

The number of daily US deaths in the world's largest economic power continues to decline however, with 355 deaths in 24 hours. — AFP

June 30, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 502,599 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Monday.

At least 10,208,540 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 5,094,900 are now considered recovered. 

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 29, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has left most Europeans wanting more cooperation between EU states and many believing the bloc failed during the crisis, a survey suggested on Monday.

The survey also found that most Europeans no longer saw the United States as a reliable partner, in a major shift from attitudes that date back to World War II.

The responses were part of a poll of 11,000 people carried out by the European Council on Foreign Relations in late April and early May, in conjunction with European newspapers including Le Monde, La Vanguardia and The Guardian. — AFP

June 29, 2020

More than half a million people have been killed by the novel coronavirus, nearly two thirds of them in the United States and Europe, according to an AFP tally at 2200 GMT Sunday based on official sources.

The official death toll for the disease now stands at 500,390 deaths from 10,099,576 cases recorded worldwide. The United States has suffered the highest death toll (125,747), followed by Brazil (57,622) and the United Kingdom (43,550).

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

Many countries are testing only the most serious cases. — AFP

June 28, 2020

China imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh coronavirus outbreak on Sunday, as authorities warned it was soon to "relax" over the new cluster of cases.

After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in neighboring Hebei province.

Health officials said Sunday that Anxin county — about 150 kilometers from Beijing — will be "fully enclosed and controlled", the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. — AFP

June 28, 2020

The United States has surpassed 2.5 million coronavirus cases, as efforts to reopen the world's economic powerhouse were dramatically set back by a surge of new infections in states such as Florida.

Infections are also up in some other parts of the world that have reopened, and the public health realities pushed global Pride celebrations largely online Saturday, 50 years after the first march for LGBT rights in New York.

The US leads the world in COVID-19 cases by far, accounting for well over a third of the global total of nearly 9.9 million since the virus emerged late last year in China. — AFP

June 27, 2020

India now has more than 500,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to government figures released Saturday that showed a record daily leap of 18,500 new infections.

Authorities say a total of 15,685 people had died after another 385 fatalities were added to the toll in 24 hours.

The pandemic is not expected to peak in India for several more weeks and experts say the number of cases could pass one million before the end of July. — AFP

June 27, 2020

The Department of Health reports 738 additional cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the total infection count to 34,803.

There are 249 new recoveries and 12 new deaths. 

June 26, 2020

The Department of Health reports 1,006 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total infection count in the Philippines to 34,073.

274 patients have recovered while 12 died from the deadly virus.

June 26, 2020

Tourists and Parisians pant their way up the stairs of the Eiffel Tower as the iron monument reopens after its longest closure since World War II due to the coronavirus, with the lifts still closed as a health precaution.

The initial crowds of dozens of people braving blazing early summer heat are a far cry from the usual queues at the tower's base in the centre of the French capital. 

But the moment of the reopening of the great edifice is a symbolic one the country emerges from the virus lockdown. — AFP

June 26, 2020

Mexico has surpassed 25,000 COVID-19 deaths and 200,000 cases, the government says on Friday.

Jose Luis Alomia, head of epidemiology at the health secretariat, says the country of 127 million had reached 25,060 deaths and 202,951 cases since reporting its first infection almost four months ago. — AFP

June 26, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 483,872 people since emerging in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Thursday.

At least 9,500,200 cases of COVID-19 have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 4,699,300 are considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 25, 2020

Iran on Thursday announced 134 new deaths from the novel coronavirus took the overall toll in the Middle East's deadliest outbreak past 10,000.

"We lost 134 of our compatriots in the past 24 hours and the total number of victims is 10,130," said health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari. — AFP

June 25, 2020

The Department of Health reports 778 new cases of the coronavirus disease, which brings the total number of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines at 33,069.

There are 255 new recoveries and eight new deaths.

June 25, 2020

The number of new coronavirus infections in the United States is approaching record daily levels, with more than 35,900 cases recorded in the past 24 hours, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

That brings the number of cases in the country to nearly 2.4 million, the tracker from the Baltimore-based university showed at 8:30pm local time Wednesday (0030 GMT Thursday), after several days in which the number of cases has surged.

Nearly half of the 50 US states have seen an increase in infections over the past two weeks, with some -- such as Texas and Florida -- posting daily records. — AFP

June 25, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 478,818 people since emerging in China late last year, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP as of 1900 GMT Wednesday.

At least 9,326,400 cases of COVID-19 have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 4,574,300 are considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 24, 2020

Chinese officials say the new coronavirus outbreak that has infected 256 people in Beijing since early June is "under control", but fears still remain over the risk of community transmission.

Authorities have raced to contain the outbreak linked to the largest wholesale food market in Beijing after the first case was announced on June 11, leading to a partial lockdown of the city.

"The Beijing epidemic directly linked to Xinfadi (market) is basically under control, but at the same time we have discovered household and workplace cluster infections and cases of community transmission," says Beijing municipal government spokesman Xu Hejian at a briefing. — AFP

June 24, 2020

The Department of Health reports 470 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total infection count at 32,295.

214 patients have recovered while 18 died from the illness.

June 24, 2020

The number of deaths caused by the novel coronavirus virus worldwide has surged past 475,000, according to an AFP tally from official sources at 0625 GMT on Wednesday.

The death toll has doubled in under two months and in total 477,117 fatalities have been recorded from 9,263,743 cases across the globe.

Europe remains the worst-hit region with 193,800 dead from 2,557,761 cases, but the pandemic is spreading rapidly through Latin America where 100,378 have died from 2,163,835 cases. — AFP

June 24, 2020

Coronavirus infections are surging across large parts of the United States, the top US infectious disease expert has warned, as the death toll in Latin America passed 100,000.

The developments highlighted how far away the world remains from ending the pandemic, six months into a crisis that has claimed nearly 500,000 lives and devastated the global economy. — AFP

June 24, 2020

The Johns Hopkins University tally shows the United States added 792 deaths in 24 hours as the country's top infectious diseases expert warned there were "historic" challenges ahead.

The world's largest economy is the hardest-hit country by the pandemic, with 121,176 dead out of more than 2.34 million cases, according to the Baltimore-based institution at 8:30pm (0030 GMT Wednesday). — AFP

June 24, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 473,475 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT Monday.

At least 9,161,460 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 4,455,700 are considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 23, 2020

Singapore's leader called a general election "like no other" Tuesday as the prosperous city-state struggles to recover from a major coronavirus outbreak that swept through crowded migrant worker dormitories and raised questions about the treatment of the foreign labour force. 

A raft of safety measures will be in place to prevent infections at next month's election, with voters wearing masks and gloves at polling stations and campaign rallies likely to be banned. 

Opposition groups have attacked the timing of the poll, with the Singapore Democratic Party saying that calling an election next month would "needlessly jeopardize the safety and health of Singaporeans". — AFP

June 23, 2020

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi says that it would invest $425 million to expand its vaccine development venture with US start-up Translate Bio as they aim to find a COVID-19 vaccine by next year.

The companies have been working together since 2018, hoping to leverage Translate Bio's work on new messenger RNA (mRNA) drugs that cause cells to create a specific protein for treating a range of diseases. — AFP

June 23, 2020

The Department of Health reports 1,150 additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections in the Philippines to 31,825.

There are nine new deaths and 299 new recoveries.

 

June 23, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 469,060 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT Monday.

At least 9,017,010 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 4,223,800 are considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 22, 2020

The World Health Organization sent out a fresh warning on Monday over the dangers of the new coronavirus even as France returned to life by staging an annual music festival and sending millions of children back to school. 

In spite of numerous European countries further easing their lockdown restrictions, cases around the world are rising especially in Latin America with Brazil now registering over 50,000 deaths.

There are also fears of a second wave with Australians being warned against traveling to Melbourne. — AFP

June 22, 2020

The United States records another 305 coronavirus-related deaths in 24 hours, a tally by Johns Hopkins University showed at 0030 GMT Saturday.

It marked the 11th consecutive day in which the daily toll from the virus has been fewer than 1,000, and the third time the toll has been under 400 since the pandemic seemed to peak in mid-April.

But the US remains the country hardest-hit by the pandemic, with 119,959 deaths out of 2,278,373 official cases. — AFP

June 22, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 465,300 people since the outbreak began in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP as of 1900 GMT on Sunday.

At least 8,890,310 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 4,139,100 are considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 21, 2020

China's capital reported 22 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday after a mass testing effort that has collected more than two million samples in a race to contain a new outbreak.

The fresh cluster in Beijing has raised fears of a resurgence of the virus in China, which had largely brought the disease under control over recent months.

Dozens of communities have been sealed off in the city to contain the spread, with residents told to avoid non-essential travel and schools closed. — AFP

June 21, 2020

US President Donald Trump said Saturday he was encouraging coronavirus response workers to slow down testing, arguing that increased tests lead to more cases being discovered.

The president has claimed falsely on several occasions that surges of COVID-19 in several states can be explained by increased diagnostic tests.

At his first rally since the outbreak forced nationwide shutdowns in March, Trump told the crowd in Tulsa, Oklahoma that testing was a "double-edged sword."  — AFP

June 20, 2020

The Department of Health reports 943 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total infection count in the Philippines at 29,400. 

272 patients survived while 20 died from the deadly virus.

June 20, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs reports 12 new cases of the coronavirus disease among overseas Filipino workers, pushing the total to 6,140.

Three new recoveries were reported in the Americas and Asia and the Pacific, bringing the total of recovered overseas Filipinos to 2,851.

Meanwhile, 12 additional deaths were logged in the Middle East, bringing the death toll to 495.

June 20, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 456,630 people since the outbreak began in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP.

At least 8,555,330 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 3,952,400 are considered recovered.

June 20, 2020

According to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, the United States lost another 705 people to the new coronavirus in the 24 hours leading up to 8:30 pm Friday.

It marked the ninth day in which the daily toll from the virus has been fewer than 1,000, even as the US remains the country hardest-hit by the pandemic with 119,086 deaths out of 2,219,119 official cases. 

Some 20 states have seen a rebound in infections as the epicenter of the country's outbreak has moved from New York and the country's Northeast to the South and West. — AFP 

June 19, 2020

Th Department of Health on Friday reports 661 new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, bringing the national tally to 28,459.

The health department also records 288 new recoveries, raising the total number of recovered patients to 7,738.

Meanwhile, 14 new deaths were confrimed, raising the death toll to 1,130.

June 19, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 450,386 people since the outbreak began in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP as of 1900 GMT on Thursday.

At least 8,410,400 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 3,866,200 are considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 18, 2020

Travel restrictions were placed on nearly half a million people near Beijing on Thursday as authorities rushed to contain a fresh outbreak of the coronavirus with a mass test-and-trace effort and lockdowns in parts of the Chinese capital.

Another 21 cases of the virus were reported in the past 24 hours in Beijing, the National Health Commission said, taking the total to 158 since a fresh cluster was detected last week after months of no confirmed local transmissions.

One case was also recorded in the neighbouring city of Tianjin and two more in Hebei province — which surrounds Beijing — prompting travel restrictions on Anxin county, home to nearly half a million people, banning most traffic going in and out of the area. — AFP

June 18, 2020

The Department of Health reports 562 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the total number of cases in the Philippines to 27,799.

There are 270 new recoveries and nine new deaths.

June 18, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 445,213 people since the outbreak began in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP as of 1900 GMT on Wednesday.

At least 8,269,170 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 3,785,500 are considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 17, 2020

Taiwan Wednesday said it planned to relax controls on some foreign business visitors coming to the island from countries that have made headway against the coronavirus pandemic including New Zealand, Australia and Thailand.

Despite its close proximity and trade links with China, Taiwan has contained its own outbreak to just 445 cases, including seven deaths. 

Thanks to strict arrival controls and efficient trace and testing programmes it has recorded no local infections for 66 days straight.

From June 22, the self-quarantine period from 14 places deemed "low risk" including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Thailand will be shortened from two weeks to five days for short-term business visitors 

"Mid-to-low risk" countries including South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore will have their quarantine periods cut to seven days, according to the government. — AFP

June 17, 2020

The Department of Health reports 457 additional cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the national tally to 27,238.

There are 268 new recoveries and five new deaths.

June 17, 2020

The World Health Organization on Tuesday hails as a "lifesaving scientific breakthrough" the British use of a basic steroid to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients, saving about a third of them.

"This is great news and I congratulate the Government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough," WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says.

Up to now there has been no effective treatment or vaccine for the coronavirus which has claimed nearly 440,000 lives since it first appeared in China in December. — AFP

June 17, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 438,250 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 8,090,290 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 3,698,500 are considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 16, 2020

A Beijing city official warns Tuesday that the situation in the capital was "extremely severe" as a fresh cluster of coronavirus cases prompted mass testing and lockdowns.

"Currently, the most important and urgent task is to resolutely prevent and control the epidemic," city spokesman Xu Hejian tells a press briefing, adding the city must "take the most determined, decisive and strictest measures" to bring the new outbreak under control. — AFP

June 16, 2020

More than 8 million cases of novel coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide, with more than half in the United States and Europe, according to an AFP tally from official sources at 2200 GMT on Monday.

At least 8,000,202 infections including 435,176 deaths, mostly in Europe, have been registered since the pandemic first emerged in China late last year.

Europe has 2,417,902 cases with 188,085 deaths. The USA has 2,110,182 cases and 116,081 deaths.

The number of confirmed cases has doubled since May 10 and another one million new cases have been detected in the last eight days.

That likely represents only a fraction of the real number of infections because most countries are only testing the most serious cases or only have limited testing capacity. — AFP

June 15, 2020

China locks ten more neighbourhoods in Beijing to try and contain the spread of a new coronavirus outbreak linked to a food market, authorities announce Monday.

City official Li Junjie said at a press conference that fresh cases had been found in a second wholesale market in northwestern Haidian district, and as a result, the market and nearby schools would be closed, and people living in ten communities around it placed under lockdown. — AFP

June 15, 2020

The United States has recorded 382 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing its death toll to 115,729, according to a tally Sunday by Johns Hopkins University.

This was the lowest 24-hour toll in the US since it peaked in mid-April. It has been averaging 800 or so a day recently.

The world's top economy is by far the hardest-hit country in the pandemic, with both the highest number of deaths and the largest number of infections — 2,093,335 at 8:30 pm Sunday (0030 GMT Monday), a tracker maintained by the Baltimore-based university showed. — AFP

June 15, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 431,193 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Sunday.

At least 7,848,160 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 3,534,200 are considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 14, 2020

China reported its highest daily number of new coronavirus cases in months on Sunday with parts of Beijing still under lockdown, offering a second wave warning to the rest of the world as the pandemic rages in South America.

The shock resurgence in domestic infections has rattled China, where the disease emerged late last year but had largely been tamed through severe restrictions on movement that were later emulated across the globe.

It also provides a bleak insight into the difficulties the world will face in conquering COVID-19 — even as countries in Europe prepare to reopen borders at the beginning of the summer holiday season after an encouraging drop in contagion.

Of the 57 new cases logged by Chinese authorities, 36 were domestic infections in the capital, where a large wholesale food market at the centre of the outbreak has been closed and nearby housing estates put under lockdown. — AFP

June 13, 2020

The Department of Health reports 607 additinal cases of the coronavirus disease 2019, bringing the official tally count to 25,392. 

There are 252 new survivors and 22 new deaths.

June 13, 2020

China reports 11 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, including six domestic cases in the capital that raised concerns about a resurgence.

The majority of China's cases in recent months were overseas nationals tested as they returned home, with the domestic outbreak brought largely under control after the disease first emerged in the central city of Wuhan last year. — AFP

June 13, 2020

The United States has recorded another 839 coronavirus-related fatalities in the last 24 hours, bringing the country's death toll to 114,613, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The world's top economy is the most affected by the pandemic in absolute terms, with both the highest number of deaths and the largest number of infections -- 2,044,572 at 8:30 pm Friday (0030 GMT Saturday), a tracker maintained by the Baltimore-based university showed. 

The US continues to register around 20,000 new cases of coronavirus each day, and is struggling to come down from that plateau as infection rates wax and wane around the country. — AFP

June 12, 2020

The Department of Health says there are 615 more COVID-19 infections, bringing the national tally to 24,787.

There are 289 new survivors and 16 new deaths.

June 12, 2020

North Korea criticize Donald Trump in a stinging denunciation of the United States, the second anniversary of a landmark summit in Singapore where the US president shook hands with leader Kim Jong Un.

It was the latest in a series of vitriolic statements from Pyongyang aimed at both Washington and Seoul, and came a day after the North implicitly threatened to disrupt November's election if the US did not stay out of inter-Korean affairs. — AFP  

June 11, 2020

The number of asylum applications in Europe plunged 87% in April, to the lowest level since 2008, due to lockdown measures imposed to fight the coronavirus, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) says Thursday.

"Only 8,730 asylum applications were registered... a record low in at least the past 12 years, and a massive decrease from pre-COVID-19 levels in January and February," it said in a statement, reporting on an area covering the European Union plus Norway and Switzerland. — AFP
 

June 11, 2020

The Department of Health reports that the total infection count in the Philippines is now at 24,175. 

The Health department says there 443 additional cases, 270 recoveries and nine deaths.

June 11, 2020

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the United States topped two million on Wednesday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 112,900 people in the United States, which leads the world in the number of confirmed infections with 2,000,464, according to the Baltimore-based school's latest count. — AFP

June 11, 2020

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the United States topped two million on Wednesday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 112,900 people in the United States, which leads the world in the number of confirmed infections with 2,000,464, according to the Baltimore-based school's latest count. — AFP

June 11, 2020

The coronavirus has infected nearly two million people overall in the United States, and in the past 24 hours has caused 1,082 fatalities in the country, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The world's leading economic power is by far the country most affected by the pandemic, both in terms of the number of reported deaths -- 112,833 -- and the number of diagnosed cases, which stood at 1,999,313 at 8:30 pm Wednesday (0030 GMT Thursday).

The US continues to record around 20,000 new cases of COVID-19 every day, and is struggling to come down from that plateau as the level of infections wax and wane in different parts of the country. — AFP

June 11, 2020

The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in Latin America passes the grim milestone of 70,000 fatalities on Wednesday, according to an AFP tally of figures released by national health ministries.

Brazil, the region's worst-hit country, accounts for almost 40,000 of the total deaths, registering 1,274 in the last 24 hours. — AFP

June 11, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 412,926 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Wednesday.

At least 7,294,130 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 3,227,700 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 10, 2020

The British government on Wednesday faced ridicule for planning to reopen zoos as part of an easing of coronavirus lockdown measures but failing to ensure the immediate return of children to school.

Education leaders said the government's admission Tuesday that it will be unable to reopen most schools in England this month will only widen the gap between rich children and those from disadvantaged families.

Opposition Labour party leader Kier Starmer told Prime Minister Boris Johnson in parliament that the government's "current arrangement lies in tatters".

"Parents have lost confidence in the government's approach, millions of children will miss six months of schooling, and inequality will now go up," he said. — AFP

June 10, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 411,588 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Wednesday.

At least 7,254,140 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 3,214,600 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases. — AFP

June 10, 2020

The Department of Health says there are 452 "fresh" and 288 "late" COVID-19 cases, bringing the national tally to 23,732.

The department also records 10 new deaths and 159 new recoveries.

June 10, 2020

According to figures released by Johns Hopkins University, the coronavirus pandemic killed 819 people in the United States in the past 24 hours.

There have been a total of 111,751 deaths in the country and 1,973,803 cases of infection, the Baltimore-based institution's real-time tracker reports at 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Wednesday).

The United States is the country hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of both the number of fatalities and number of cases. — AFP

June 10, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 407,914 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 7,169,550 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 3,148,200 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 9, 2020

The French government on Tuesday pledged 15 billion euros ($16.9 billion) for the country's aviation industry, where thousands of jobs are on the line as the coronavirus crisis hammers the travel industry.

"We are declaring a state of emergency to save our aeronautics industry so that it can be more competitive," Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire says at a press conference in Paris.

"If we hadn't intervened right away, a third of the jobs in the sector would have disappeared... that's around 100,000 of the 300,000 direct and indirect jobs in the sector," he adds. — AFP

June 9, 2020

The Department of Health reports that the total infection count in the Philippines is now at 22,992. 

The Health department says there are 518 additional COVID-19 cases, 99 recoveries and six new deaths.

June 9, 2020

The World Bank says the coronavirus pandemic inflicted a "swift and massive shock" that has caused the broadest collapse of the global economy since 1870 despite unprecedented government support.

The world economy is expected to contract by 5.2 percent this year -- the worst recession in 80 years -- but the sheer number of countries suffering economic losses means the scale of the downturn is worse than any recession in 150 years, the World Bank says in its latest Global Economic Prospects report. — AFP

June 9, 2020

According to the latest real-time tally reported by Johns Hopkins University, the United States recorded 450 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, the lowest total in about two months.

It remains to be seen if the low mark will hold in the coming days, as the data compiled by the Baltimore-based school tends to dip as the weekend ends because of how numbers are reported by local health authorities.

The country -- hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of the number of fatalities -- has confirmed a total of 110,932 deaths and is approaching two million cases, at 1,956,527, it reports. — AFP

June 9, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 404,245 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Monday.

At least 7,065,200 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 3,078,100 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 8, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 400,581 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Sunday.

At least 6,949,890 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 3,030,800 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 7, 2020

Collapsing revenues, rising layoffs: the coronavirus crisis is battering media outlets across Africa that were already struggling for cash and often facing pressure from hostile authorities.

The news of cutbacks was sudden and painful for journalists at two of Nigeria's most popular independent newspapers when bosses from The Punch and Vanguard made their announcements last month.

"It was a rude shock for me because I didn't do anything wrong to warrant such treatment," one Punch veteran told AFP, asking not to be named as he was still owed a "token" payoff. — AFP

June 6, 2020

The Department of Health reports 350 additional cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the total infection count to  21,340.

One hundred eleven patients have recovered from the deadly virus and seven died. 

June 6, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic killed 922 people in the United States in the past 24 hours, according to figures released by Johns Hopkins University.

The latest deaths bring the total in the United States to 109,042, and there have been more than 1.89 million cases, according to a real-time tally maintained by the Baltimore-based university at 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Saturday).

Some 491,000 people have recovered from the disease. — AFP

June 5, 2020

The Department of Health reports that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in the Philippines climbed to 20,626 as of Friday, June 5, 2020.

There are 244 additional cases, 82 recoveries and three new deaths.

June 5, 2020

Brazil's death toll from the novel coronavirus has surged to become the third-highest in the world, surpassing Italy's, according to official figures released Thursday.

The South American country of 210 million people reported a new record of 1,473 deaths in 24 hours, bringing its overall toll to 34,021, from 614,941 infections, the health ministry said.

Italy has confirmed 33,689 deaths from 234,013 infections. — AFP 

June 5, 2020

 The novel coronavirus has killed at least 387,280 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Thursday. 

At least 6,563,710 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 2,838,800 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 4, 2020

Britain's Prince Charles spoke of his experience of coronavirus, saying he was fortunate to have only mild symptoms and that he hopes the pandemic will refocus efforts on the environment. 

"I was lucky in my case and got away with it quite lightly," the 71-year-old heir to the throne told Sky News television in an interview broadcast on Thursday.

"I can so understand what other people have gone through. I feel particularly for those who've lost their loved ones but were unable to be with them at the time.

"That's to me the most ghastly thing," he said. — AFP

June 4, 2020

The Department of Health reports 634 additional cases of the coronavirus disease, which brings the national tally to 20,382.

The agency says there are 95 recoveries and 10 deaths. 

June 4, 2020

According to the latest real-time tally reported by Johns Hopkins University, the United States recorded 919 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 107,099,

The country -- hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of the number of fatalities -- has now confirmed nearly 1.85 million cases, the Baltimore-based school reported at 8:30 pm Wednesday (0030 GMT Thursday).

Even if the pandemic seems to be abating to some extent in the country, health experts are still worried, and say that widespread anti-racism protests over the past week could lead to a new surge in cases. — AFP

June 4, 2020

Researchers in hard-hit Brazil on Wednesday say they would begin testing a coronavirus vaccine developed in Britain, while across the Atlantic European nations began reopening borders in a bid to emerge from months of devastation caused by the disease.

Authorities in Brazil — the latest frontline of the pandemic, with deaths and infections on the rise — imposed fresh restrictions in the country's northeast after reporting "extremely high" numbers of cases.

Concern over the spread of the coronavirus in Latin America has increased even as the health crisis has eased in other regions of the world. — AFP

June 4, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 382,016 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Wednesday. 

At least 6,440,940 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 2,768,700 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 3, 2020

The Department of Health reports 751 new cases of the coronavirus disease, which brings the national tally to 19,748.

There are 90 new recoveries and eight new deaths.

June 3, 2020

Brazil surpasses 30,000 deaths from the coronavirus outbreak on Tuesday as the disease continued to rip through South America's worst-hit country.

Figures released by the health ministry shows 1,262 deaths in the previous 24-hours, as well as 28,936 new infections. 

The overall number of cases — 555,383 — makes Brazil the second most affected country by the crisis after the United States in terms of infections. — AFP

June 3, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 377,213 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Tuesday. 

At least 6,320,480 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 2,662,300 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 2, 2020

The Department of Health reports 359 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the national tally to 18,997.

There are 84 new recoveries and six new deaths.

June 2, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 373,439 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Monday. 

At least 6,220,110 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 2,599,500 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 1, 2020

South Africa's education minister apologizes on Monday for a week-long delay in reopening schools owing to a lack of "readiness".

Thousands of grade seven and grade 12 students had been preparing to attend the first classes in the country after two and a half months of home-schooling to limit the spread of coronavirus.

The education department announced late on Sunday that it had postponed the resumption date to June 8, saying the extra week would serve to better prepare facilities and train staff.

"It became clear that the sector was at different levels of readiness," Education Minister Angelina Motshekga said at a press briefing on Monday. — AFP

June 1, 2020

The Philippines logs 552 additional COVID-19 cases (119 "fresh" cases and 433 "late" cases), pushing the country's total number of confirmed cases to 18,638.

The Department of Health also reports 70 new recoveries, raising the total number of recovered patients to 3,979.

Three additional deaths were also recorded, bringing the national death toll to 960.

June 1, 2020

More than one million cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Latin America and the Caribbean, half of them in Brazil, according to an AFP toll on Sunday based on official data.

Since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic 1,016,828 people have been infected, with 514,849 cases recorded in Brazil, which currently has the world's fourth highest COVID-19 death toll after the United States, Britain and Italy. — AFP

June 1, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 370,261 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT Sunday. 

At least 6,113,340 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 2,520,800 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

May 31, 2020

Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound -- the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia -- reopened on Sunday after being closed for more than two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dozens of worshippers in protective masks were let into the compound before the first prayers of the day, held in a cool and windy night.

Chanting "God is greatest, we will protect Al-Aqsa with our soul and blood", the group gathered in front of the large wooden doors were welcomed by mosque director Omar al-Kiswani, who thanked them for their patience.

It followed a fraught day in annexed east Jerusalem, where the compound is located.

Israeli police on Saturday shot dead a disabled Palestinian they mistakenly thought was armed, prompting furious condemnation from the Palestinians.

The religious site, which houses Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, had closed its doors in March as part of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. — AFP

May 31, 2020

The US recorded 960 coronavirus deaths on Saturday, bringing its total to 103,758 since the global pandemic began, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The country has officially logged 1,769,776 cases of the virus, far more than any other nation, the tracker by the Baltimore-based university showed at 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Sunday). — AFP

May 30, 2020

The Department of Health reports 590 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the national tally to 17,224.

Of the new confirmed cases, 252 were considered "fresh" and 338 were positive results returned “late.”

There are 88 recoveries 8 deaths, the Health department adds.

May 30, 2020

The Department of Health announces that the COVID-19 case bulletin for Saturday, May 30, 2020 will be released around 8:00 p.m.

May 29, 2020

The Department of Health reports 1,046 new cases of the coronavirus disease, the highest surge in a day in the Philippines. This brings the national tally to 16,634.

The agency says there are 122 recoveries and 21 new fatalities. 

May 29, 2020

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire says that out of the 539 new cases reported Thursday, only 109 were "fresh cases" or those confirmed in the last three days.

The remaining were reported infections from last week.

May 29, 2020

The United States records 1,297 coronavirus deaths on Thursday, bringing its total to 101,573 since the global pandemic began, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The country has also officially logged 1,720,613 cases of the virus, far more than any other nation, the tracker kept by the Baltimore-based university showed at 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Friday). — AFP

May 29, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 357,311 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Thursday. 

At least 5,747,100 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 2,296,900 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

May 28, 2020

The Department of Health reports 539 new cases of the coronavirus disease, the highest in a single day, taking the national tally to 15,588.

There are 92 new recoveries and 17 new fatalities, the health department adds.

May 28, 2020

South Korea re-imposes a series of coronavirus social distancing measures on Thursday, as a series of clusters threatens to challenge its success in containing the epidemic.

Museums, parks and art galleries in the Seoul metropolitan area will all be closed again for two weeks from Friday, says health minister Park Neung-hoo, while companies are urged to re-adopt flexible working practices, among other measures. 

"We have decided to strengthen all quarantine measures in the metropolitan area for two weeks from tomorrow to June 14," he says. — AFP

May 28, 2020

Brazil's death toll from the new coronavirus surpasses 25,000 on Wednesday, as the country emerges as the latest epicenter in the pandemic.

The health ministry says it had confirmed 1,086 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the fifth time the daily toll has exceeded 1,000 since the crisis accelerated in Brazil last week.

That pushes the nationwide death toll to 25,598.

The country of 210 million people now has 411,821 confirmed cases of the virus, second only to the United States. Experts say under-testing means the real figures are probably much higher. — AFP

May 28, 2020

The United States has now recorded more than 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths, Johns Hopkins University reported Wednesday — a somber milestone and by far the highest total in the world.

The country reported its first death about three months ago. Since then, nearly 1.7 million infections have been tallied nationwide, according to the Baltimore-based school.

The actual number of deaths and infections is believed to be higher, experts say. — AFP

May 27, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused surging unemployment worldwide, but has hit young workers especially hard, forcing more than one in six people aged under 29 to stop working, the UN said Wednesday.

In a fresh study, the International Labor Organization warned that the novel coronavirus crisis has disproportionately affected young people, and could impact upon their work opportunities and career options for decades to come.

"I don't think it is giving way to hyperbole to talk about the danger of a lockdown generation," ILO chief Guy Ryder told a virtual press conference. — AFP

May 27, 2020

More than 350,000 deaths from the new coronavirus have been recorded worldwide since it first appeared in China in December, according to a tally compiled by AFP from official sources.

A total of 350,196 deaths have been reported, from 5,589,389 cases, including 173,713 in Europe from 2,057,414 infections. The United States has registered the most deaths of any country, 98,929, ahead of Britain with 37,048, Italy with 32,955, France with 28,530 and Spain with 27,117.

The number of diagnosed cases however reflects only a fraction of the actual number of infections as many countries test only serious cases or lack testing capacity.

May 27, 2020

The Philippines records an additional 380 COVID-19 cases, bringing the national total to 15,049. Of the confirmed cases, 10,639 of which are active cases.

The Department of Health also reports 18 new deaths, raising the death toll to 904.

Meanwhile, 94 more patients recovered from the disease, which brings the total number of recovered patients to 3,506.

May 27, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 347,723 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Tuesday. 

At least 5,541,590 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 2,191,200 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

May 26, 2020

The World Health Organization said Tuesday that Dutch workers apparently infected with the coronavirus by minks could be the first known cases of animal-to-human transmission.

The WHO told AFP that it was in close contact with Dutch researchers  investigating three cases where the virus appears to have been passed to humans from minks.

"This would be the first known cases of animal-to-human transmission," the UN health agency told AFP in an email.

"But we are still collecting and reviewing more data to understand if animals and pets can spread the disease," it said. — AFP

May 26, 2020

The Department of Health announces that a total of 14,669 individuals have contracted the coronavirus disease, with the agency reporting 350 new cases.

There are 89 new recoveries and 13 new deaths.

May 26, 2020

The US coronavirus death toll has risen by 532 over the past 24 hours, the Johns Hopkins University tracker said Monday.

After that relatively small increase, the US toll now stands at 98,218 lives as of 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Tuesday), according to the Baltimore-based university, and US cases of infection now number 1,662,375. 

Both are the highest anywhere in the world. — AFP

May 26, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 344,107 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Monday.

The drop in the total numbers of deaths is due to Spain's revision of its toll downwards by nearly 2,000.

At least 5,453,650 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 2,133,900 are now considered recovered. — AFP

May 25, 2020

The US coronavirus death toll has risen by 638 over the past 24 hours, the Johns Hopkins University tracker reported Sunday night.

After that relatively small increase, the US toll now stands at 97,686 lives as of 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Monday), according to the Baltimore-based university, and US cases of infection now number 1,641,585. — AFP

May 25, 2020

The US coronavirus death toll has risen by 638 over the past 24 hours, the Johns Hopkins University tracker reported Sunday night.

After that relatively small increase, the US toll now stands at 97,686 lives as of 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Monday), according to the Baltimore-based university, and US cases of infection now number 1,641,585. — AFP

May 24, 2020

The Department of Health records 258 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of people to have tested positive for the disease to 14,035.

The DOH also reports 72 new recoveries and five new deaths.

May 24, 2020

China 'open' to international effort to identify virus source, foreign minister says — AFP

May 24, 2020

The United States records a further 1,127 deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing its total to 97,048 since the global pandemic began, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The country has also officially logged 1,621,658 cases of the virus, far more than any other nation, the tracker kept by the Baltimore-based university showed at 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Sunday). — AFP

May 23, 2020

The Department of Health reports 180 new cases of COVID-19. bringing the national tally to 13,777.

There are 85 new recoveries and six new deaths.

May 22, 2020

The Department of Science and Technology announces that it has submitted a proposal for possible legislation in order to establish the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines.

The institute is envisioned to be the premier research institute in the field of virology encompassing all areas in viruses and viral diseases in humans, plants and animals.

May 22, 2020

UNICEF Philippines says it has scaled up its support to the Philippine government in its efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organization says it has procured supplies which include 72,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPEs) for health staff, 450,000 masks (N95 and surgical masks) for health staff and 500 PPEs for cleaning staff.

May 22, 2020

The Department of Health reports 163 new COVID-19 infections, which brings the total number of cases to 13,597.

There are 92 new recoveries and 11 new fatalities.

May 22, 2020

Opposition Sen. Leila de Lima asks for government transparency and accountability after its procurement of reportedly overpriced personal protective equipment and other medical equipment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While the country’s coffers are quickly drying up, while the health sector is struggling to hold the line, here is the DOH surrounded with corruption allegations yet again. Bakit natin kailangan bumili ng napakamahal na mga PPE from China samantalang marami nang naiulat na mga produkto ng China na depektibo at mapanganib?” De Lima says in her dispatch.

“Kailangang magpaliwanag ng ating DOH ukol sa mga ulat na ito. Our people have suffered and placed our survival in the hands of our government. If we are to ‘heal as one, we need our government to be transparent and accountable,” she adds.

May 22, 2020

The novel coronavirus death toll in Brazil surpasses 20,000 on Thursday, after a record number of fatalities in a 24-hour period, the Ministry of Health says.

The country is the epicenter of the outbreak in Latin America, and its highest one-day toll of 1,188 pushed overall deaths to 20,047.

Brazil has now recorded 310,087 confirmed cases, with experts saying under-testing means the real figures are probably much higher. — AFP

May 22, 2020

The IMF and Ukrainian officials reach a staff level agreement on a new 18 month, $5 billion stand-by arrangement to help Kiev cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington-based financial institution says Thursday.

The agreement is subject to approval by the International Monetary Fund's management and executive board, which will look at the deal "in the coming weeks," the IMF statement says.

The Fund's governing body generally follows the recommendations of the technical teams. — AFP

May 21, 2020

At least 84 people died as the fiercest cyclone to hit parts of Bangladesh and eastern India this century sent trees flying and flattened houses, with millions crammed into shelters despite the risk of coronavirus.

Millions more were left without power after Cyclone Amphan, packing winds of around 150 kph, carried away electricity pylons, walls and roofs, officials said as they began to assess the damage. — AFP

May 21, 2020

Global infections from the novel coronavirus surpassed five million on Thursday as the pandemic played out unevenly across the planet, with China eager to declare a victory, Europe tentatively emerging from its shell and deaths still rising in hotspots in Latin America. 

The grim milestone is still only a fraction of the true number of infections from a virus that has claimed more than 328,000 lives in its whirl around the globe, according to AFP tally of official sources. 

And while many hard-hit European countries have significantly curbed the rise of cases, Latin America has been in the grip of an infection surge. 

Brazil is leading the pack, logging the third-highest number of cases in the world after the US and Russia. Peru, Mexico and Chile have also seen steady increases in infections. — AFP

May 21, 2020

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III concedes that the Philippines is still in first major wave of COVID-19 community transmission.

May 21, 2020

The Department of Health reports 213 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the national tally to 13,434.

Sixty-eight people have recovered four died.

May 21, 2020

Walt Disney World in Florida cracks open its doors, offering dining and shopping to masked customers but leaving the beloved rides closed, as the state begins to slowly get back to business after a coronavirus lockdown.

As the park welcomed people to the Disney Springs shopping strip in Orlando, the new reality of life in the COVID-19 era was stark.

Parking was limited, barriers have been erected to encourage social distancing, visiting hours have been reduced and staffers repeatedly disinfected high-touch surfaces. — AFP 

May 21, 2020

According to the latest real-time tally of Johns Hopkins University, the United States recorded 1,561 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 93,406.

The country -- hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of the number of fatalities -- has now confirmed a total of 1,550,959 cases, the Baltimore-based school reports. — AFP

May 21, 2020

More than 325,000 people worldwide have died from the novel coronavirus, three-quarters of them in Europe and the United States, since it broke out in China in December, according to an AFP tally.

The virus has killed 325,232 people in 196 countries and infected 4,943,050, according to the tally based on official sources at 1900 GMT Wednesday.

Of those infected, at least 1,827,200 are now considered recovered. — AFP

May 20, 2020

The total number of COVID-19 cases among overseas Filipinos is now at 2,455 with 24 confirmed new cases, 9 recoveries and 4 new deaths, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

"Despite the decrease in the daily rate of recoveries reported by the DFA through its Foreign Service Posts today, the total number of overseas Filipinos who recovered from COVID-19 at 858 cases is now three times more than the total fatalities at 284 and comprises almost 35% of the total confirmed cases," the DFA says. 

May 20, 2020

The Philippines logs an additional 279 COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 13,221.

The Department of Health also reports 89 new recoveries, which raises the total number of recovered patients to 2,932.

The country's death toll is now at 842 with five new deaths.

May 20, 2020

Health Secretary Francisco Duque says the Philippines is now experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 outbreak.

May 20, 2020

The Johns Hopkins University tracker says the United States recorded another 1,536 coronavirus deaths over the past 24 hours,

That figure, tallied as of 8:30 p.m. (0030 GMT), raises to 91,845 the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the US. 

The US tops the global rankings both for the highest death toll and the highest number of infections, with more than 1.5 million cases. — AFP

May 20, 2020

Brazil registers 1,179 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, the health ministry says Tuesday, as the pandemic exacted its worst daily toll yet in the hardest-hit Latin American country.

The overall death toll in Brazil now stands at 17,971, the ministry says.

This was the first time the daily toll exceeded 1,000.

New infections in the past 24 hours totals 17,408, bringing the total to 271,628. — AFP

May 20, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 320,255 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT Tuesday.

At least 4,850,670 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 1,770,500 are now considered recovered. 

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.  

Many countries are testing only the most serious cases. — AFP

May 19, 2020

A prolonged global slump and surge in bankruptcies arising from the coronavirus pandemic are the foremost concerns for companies surveyed in a World Economic Forum report Tuesday.

However, the crisis also gives governments a "unique opportunity" to craft a healthier, climate-friendly economy as they intervene with huge rescue packages, the organisation said.

Its survey of 347 company risk managers looked at the biggest concerns for the next 18 months, after the pandemic shut down much of the world economy.

They identified the most likely fallout as an extended downturn, a jump in company failures allied with industry consolidation, and high youth unemployment. — AFP

May 19, 2020

The Philippines records an additional 224 COVID-19 cases in the country, bringing the national total to 12,942.

The Department of Health also reports 114 new recoveries, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 2,843.

Meanwhile, the health department reports six new deaths, which brings the national toll to 837.

May 19, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 316,333 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT Monday. 

At least 4,759,650 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 1,711,900 are now considered recovered. 

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

May 18, 2020

The Department of Health reports an additional 205 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 12,718.

The total number of recoveries is now at 2,729 after the DOH recorded 94 new recoveries.

Meanwhile, the national death toll stands at 831 with seven new deaths.

May 18, 2020

South Africa reports 1,160 new coronavirus infections, the highest daily rise since the first case was recorded in March, data released by the health ministry showed.

The new numbers take the cumulative tally to 15,515 with the touristic Western Cape province accounting for nearly 60 percent of the national figures. The numbers of fatalities rose by three to 263. — AFP

May 18, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 313,611 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Sunday.

At least 4,680,700 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 1,670,100 are now considered recovered.  

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

May 17, 2020

China faces a potential second wave of coronavirus infections due to a lack of immunity among its population, its government's senior medical advisor has warned.

After months of lockdowns and curbs on travel China has largely brought the virus under control, but fears of a second wave have risen as clusters have emerged in northeast provinces and in the central city of Wuhan.

"The majority of... Chinese at the moment are still susceptible of the COVID-19 infection, because (of) a lack of immunity," Zhong Nanshan, the public face of government's response to the pandemic, tells CNN.

"We are facing (a) big challenge," Zhong adds. "It's not better than the foreign countries I think at the moment." — AFP

May 17, 2020

As the novel coronavirus pandemic wipes out a recovery from jihadist attacks in 2015, Tunisia's vital tourism sector is trying to find ways to avoid going under.

"Normally, the season starts now. But there is nobody," said Mohammed Saddam, who owns an antiques shop in the famous blue and white village of Sidi Bou Said, near the capital Tunis.

Usually its streets are filled with tourists at this time of year, but now Saddam is only opening his store for an hour a day to air it out.

"We are waiting for the airspace to reopen," he said. "But 2020 is a write-off."

The North African country has registered 45 deaths from the COVID-19 illness, and for several days this week saw no new infections, putting it among Mediterranean countries faring relatively well in the pandemic.

But the crisis has led to a shortfall in tourism revenues of six billion dinars (over $2 billion), the country's national tourism office has estimated, and some 400,000 jobs are at risk.

The sector had been bouncing back to levels not seen since before the 2011 revolution that toppled longtime autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. — AFP

May 17, 2020

The United States recorded 1,237 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing its grim total to 88,730, according to the latest real-time tally Saturday reported by Johns Hopkins University.

The country — hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of the number of fatalities — has now confirmed a total of 1,466,682 cases, the Baltimore-based school reports. — AFP

May 16, 2020

The Department of Health reports 214 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the national tally to 12,305.

There are new 101 new recoveries and 11 new mortalities.

May 16, 2020

According to the latest real-time tally, the United States recorded 1,680 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing its grim total to 87,493. 

The country -- hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of the number of fatalities -- has now confirmed a total of 1,442,924 cases, the Baltimore-based school reports. — AFP

May 15, 2020

The Health department reports 215 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 12,091.

There are 123 new recoveries and 16 new fatalities. 

May 15, 2020

US health authorities issues an alert over a rare but sometimes deadly autoimmune condition among children that is believed to be linked to COVID-19.

The illness, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, was first reported in Britain in late April. — AFP

May 15, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed more than 300,000 people worldwide, mostly in Europe and the United States, since it emerged in China late last year, according to an AFP tally of official figures on Thursday at 2030 GMT.

A total of 300,140 people have died across the globe from 4,403,714 officially registered cases. The United States has registered the most deaths at 85,194 followed by Britain with 33,614, Italy at 31,368, France at 27,425 and Spain with 27,321 fatalities. — AFP

May 14, 2020

A northeastern Chinese city has partially shut its borders, cut off transport links and closed schools after the emergence of a local COVID-19 cluster that has fuelled fears about a second wave of infections in China.

Authorities in Jilin, with a population of more than four million, suspended bus services and said it will let residents leave the city only if they have tested negative for COVID-19 in the past 48 hours and complete an unspecified period of "strict self-isolation". — AFP

May 14, 2020

Beijing has accused the United States of smearing China after Washington alleged Chinese hackers were attempting to steal research on developing a vaccine against the coronavirus.

The claims have added fuel to tensions between the global superpowers, who have traded barbs over the origin of the pandemic that has killed 300,000 people. — AFP

May 14, 2020

The Department of Health reports 258 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the national tally to 11,876.

There are 86 new recoveries and 18 new fatalities.

May 14, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 294,199 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT Wednesday.

At least 4,305,340 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 1,473,700 are now considered recovered. 

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

May 13, 2020

The Department of Health reports 145 new recoveries from the infectious COVID-19, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 2,251.

An additional 268 cases (165 in NCR, 58 in Region 7 and 45 in other areas) were also recorded, raising the total of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines to 11,618.

Meanwhile, the 21 new deaths reported by the DOH bring the national toll to 772.

May 13, 2020

A UN report says deaths from preventable disease in children under five could rise by almost 45% over the next six months as the COVID-19 pandemic diverts scarce health resources in developing countries.

Poorer nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America could see an additional 1.2 million infants die over the period, according to the study published by The Lancet Global Health. — AFP

May 13, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has now claimed more than 290,000 lives worldwide, according to an AFP tally of official sources at 2200 GMT on Tuesday.

In total, 290,477 deaths have been registered, with Europe accounting for 159,205 of them. The United States is the worst-affected country with 82,105 deaths, followed by Britain (32,692), Italy (30,911), France (26,991) and Spain (26,920). — AFP

May 12, 2020

South Korean authorities say they are using mobile phone data to trace Seoul nightclub visitors as they tackle a new coronavirus cluster, promising anonymity to those being tested due to the stigma surrounding homosexuality.

A spike of new cases, driven by the cluster in venues in Seoul's Itaewon district — including several gay clubs — forced authorities to delay this week's planned re-opening of schools.

Seoul, as well as neighboring Gyeonggi province and the nearby city of Incheon and the southern city of Daegu, has ordered the closure of all clubs and bars. —  AFP

May 12, 2020

State media reports that Wuhan plans to conduct coronavirus tests on the Chinese city's entire population after new cases emerged for the first time in weeks in the cradle of the global pandemic.

Officials have been ordered to submit by noon on Tuesday plans to administer nucleic acid tests on all residents in the city of 11 million people, according to an official notice carried by news outlets. — AFP

May 12, 2020

The Department of Health reports 264 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases 11,350.

There are 107 new recoveries and 25 new fatalities.

 

 

May 12, 2020

Department of Health Undersecretary Dr. Maria Rosario Vergeire says COVID-19 cases will increase in the next days or weeks because of the increased testing capacity.

May 12, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 283,978 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Monday.

At least 4,148,350 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 195 countries and territories. Of these, at least 1,396,200 are now considered recovered. 

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.  

Many countries are testing only the most serious cases. — AFP

May 11, 2020

President Vladimir Putin on Monday says Russia's non-working period imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus will be lifted from Tuesday.

"Starting from tomorrow, May 12, the national period of non-working days will be over for all sectors of the economy," Putin says, adding that Russia's regions will be able to keep in place any necessary anti-virus measures.

The president's announcement comes after Russia registered a record number of daily cases Monday, with more than 11,000 people testing positive over the last 24 hours. 

Health officials have recorded a total of 221,344 coronavirus infections and 2009 deaths. — AFP

May 11, 2020

China reported a new cluster of coronavirus cases in the city of Wuhan.

Five new infections were confirmed in one district of Wuhan, the city believed to be ground zero for the global pandemic. 

The city in central Hubei province only emerged from lockdown roughly four weeks ago, after weeks of dwindling cases. -- AFP

May 11, 2020

The Department of Health reports an additional 292 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, bringing the national total to 11,086.

The health department also logs 75 new recoveries, which brings the total number of recovered patients to 1,999.

Meanwhile, seven new deaths raise the national toll to 726.

May 11, 2020

More than 280,000 people have now died from the new coronavirus, most of whom were in Europe and the United States, according to a tally by AFP from official sources at 1635 GMT on Sunday.

In total, 280,011 deaths have been registered throughout the world, of which 156,095 were in Europe, the most-affected continent. The United States is the country that has recorded most deaths at 78,862. It is followed by Britain (31,855), Italy (30,560), Spain (26,621) and France (26,380). — AFP

May 10, 2020

The cost of a university education in the United States has long been eye-watering, with a year costing tens of thousands of dollars.

But as the coronavirus crisis settles in, students — many of whom take out huge loans to finance their degrees — are wondering how to justify spending $70,000 a year on.... Zoom classes.

They feel like they're getting the raw end of the deal, and are demanding that their colleges be held to account.

"We're paying for other services that the campus offers that aren't digitized," says Dhrumil Shah, who is doing a Master's degree in public health at George Washington University.

The 24-year-old relied in part on loans to pay for his two-year program in the US capital. In a few days, he will earn his diploma, but there will be no traditional graduation ceremony. — AFP

May 9, 2020

The Department of Health says there are 147 new cases more infections of coronavirus disease 2019, raising the national tally to 10,610.

There are eight new mortalities and 108 new survivors.

May 9, 2020

According to the latest real-time tally by Johns Hopkins University, the United States recorded 1,635 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 77,178,

The country -- hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of the number of fatalities -- has now confirmed a total of 1,283,829 cases, the Baltimore-based school reported. — AFP

May 8, 2020

The Department of Health reports 120 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the national tally to 10,463.

There are 116 new recoveries and 10 new deaths.

May 8, 2020

The Valenzuela City government signs a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with its third COVID-19 laboratory partner.

It has now started testing and doing mandatory quarantine of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and returning residents.

May 8, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 266,919 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Thursday.

More than 3,806,440 cases were registered in 195 countries and territories. Of these, at least 1,197,100 are now considered recovered. — AFP

May 7, 2020

Catholics will be able to attend masses, baptisms, weddings and funerals in Italian churches from May 18, provided they abide by a series of anti-coronavirus rules, the government said Thursday.

All public religious ceremonies were cancelled when the government imposed a nationwide lockdown in early March over a pandemic that has since killed nearly 30,000 people, according to Italy's official toll.

The faithful will have to wear masks and sit or stand well spaced out, according to rules drawn up and approved by a scientific committee.

In addition, holy water fonts where the faithful traditionally dip their fingers before making the sign of the cross on their forehead, will be dry and there will be no exchanging the sign of peace, which normally involves shaking hands with the people close by. — AFP

May 7, 2020

The Department of Health reports 339 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the national tally to 10,343.

The Health department also announces 112 new recoveries and 27 new deaths.

May 7, 2020

The United States recorded 2,073 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 73,095, according to the latest real-time tally Wednesday reported by Johns Hopkins University.

The country — hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of the number of fatalities — has now confirmed a total of 1,227,430 cases, the Baltimore-based school reported. — AFP

May 7, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 260,546 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Wednesday.

More than 3,710,240  cases were registered in 195 countries and territories. Of these, at least 1,153,300 are now considered recovered. 

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

May 6, 2020

The Department of Health announces that there are 320 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 10,004.

There are 98 new recoveries and 21 new deaths, the Health department adds. 

May 6, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs announces that around 30 Filipinos have donated blood during a blood drive organized by an Italian non-profit association of blood donor organizations in Rome on May 3.

“The blood donation is a huge effort to help in the COVID-19 emergency. Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, Italian health authorities have been calling for blood donors as blood banks are experiencing low supply of blood caused by the health crisis,” says Associazione di Donatori Volontari di Sangue La Rete di Tutti President Di Iorio, through Philippine Ambassador to Italy Domingo Nolasco. 

May 6, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 254,532 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Tuesday.

More than 3,629,160 cases were registered in 195 countries and territories. 

Of these, at least 1,124,600 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

May 5, 2020

More than a quarter of a million people have died from the novel coronavirus worldwide, with over 85 percent of them in Europe and the United States, according to an AFP tally of official figures.

At 2230 GMT on Monday, the US had recorded 68,689 virus deaths, the most for any single country, while Europe was the hardest-hit continent with 145,023 confirmed fatalities.

Since it emerged in China in December, COVID-19 has infected more than 3.5 million people and devastated economies across the globe.

The virus death toll in the US was followed by those in Italy (29,079), the United Kingdom (28,734), Spain (25,428) and France (25,201). — AFP

May 4, 2020

China's state broadcaster CCTV on Monday attacked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's "insane and evasive remarks" over the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, further fuelling Sino-US tensions. 

Pompeo on Sunday said "enormous evidence" showed the virus originated in a lab in China, doubling down on previous claims that have been repeatedly denied by the World Health Organization and various scientific experts. 

The theory has been heavily pushed by the Trump administration, which has been increasingly critical of China's handling of the outbreak that first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

Since then, the virus has killed more than 247,000 people and 3.5 million have been infected worldwide. — AFP

May 4, 2020

Novel coronavirus deaths in the United States climb by 1,450 in the past 24 hours, a tally by Johns Hopkins University showed Sunday, bringing the total number of fatalities to more than 67,600.

The Baltimore-based university had recorded more than 1.15 million cases in the country as of 8:30 pm Sunday (0030 GMT Monday), with 67,674 deaths.

The United States has by far the highest death toll of any country in the global pandemic.

Sunday's 24-hour toll was similar to Saturday's, showing a decline after hitting 2,502 on Wednesday. — AFP

May 4, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 245,576 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Sunday.

More than 3,479,220 cases were registered in 195 countries and territories. Of these, at least 1,063,600 are now considered recovered. 

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.  — AFP

May 4, 2020

President Donald Trump on Sunday says the United States would have a coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year.

"We are very confident that we're going to have a vaccine at the end of the year, by the end of the year," Trump says in a Fox News "town hall" show broadcast from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

He also says he would urge the reopening of schools and universities in September, saying "I want them to go back." — AFP

May 3, 2020

Europe on Sunday prepared for a further cautious easing of coronavirus restrictions following signs the pandemic may be slowing, after Spaniards flocked to the streets to jog, cycle and rollerskate for the first time after 48 days of confinement.

More than 242,000 people have been killed and 3.4 million infected worldwide by the virus, which has left half of humanity under some form of lockdown and pushed the global economy towards its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

With signs that the spread of the contagion has been brought under control, parts of Europe and the United States have begun to lift restrictions to try to inject life into economies crippled by weeks of closures and ease the pressure from populations wearying of captivity.

After a two-month lockdown in Italy — with the second-highest number of virus deaths in the world — people on Monday will be allowed to stroll in parks and visit relatives. Restaurants can open for takeaway and wholesale stores can resume business. — AFP

May 3, 2020

A massive wave of coronavirus infections is blasting through the world's largest prison population in the United States even as officials begin opening up their economies, saying the disease has plateaued.

One prison in Marion, Ohio has become the most intensely infected institution across the country, with more than 80 percent of its nearly 2,500 inmates, and 175 staff on top of that, testing positive for COVID-19.

Coronavirus deaths are on the increase in jails and penitentiaries across the country, with officials having few options — they are unable to force adequate distancing in crowded cells and facing shortages of medical personnel and personal protective gear everywhere. — AFP

May 2, 2020

Baguio City’s oldest COVID-19 patient, a 77-year-old man, recovers from COVID-19.

He is the 12th COVID-19 patient discharged from the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center

“We are absolutely overjoyed and was impressed at the hospital for helping so many people,” the patient’s wife says as they leave the hospital. 

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong says the case is extra special considering that the patient also had a stroke before. — The STAR/Artemio Dumlao

May 2, 2020

The Department of Health reports 156 new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, giving rise to a total of 8,928 infections.

The country has 40 new recoveries, increasing the number to 1,124, and 24 new deaths, leading to 603 total fatalities.

May 2, 2020

Sen. Sonny Angara announces that he tested positive for the coronavirus disease again. 

"It has been close to one month since I recovered from COVID-19. But while preparing to donate my blood plasma for a second time, my doctors, after the results of the initial antibody test taken before donating, had me take another swab test, which registered positive," says Angara. 

"My wife Tootsy has tested negative, which could be proof of what my doctors are positing that I am probably no longer infectious and that this latest positive result is probably picking up remnants of the virus," he adds.

May 1, 2020

The World Health Organization says it was hoping China would invite it to take part in its investigations into the animal origins of the novel coronavirus.

"WHO would be keen to work with international partners and at the invitation of the Chinese government to participate in investigation around the animal origins," WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic tells AFP in an email. — AFP

May 1, 2020

The global death toll from the coronavirus surpasses 230,000 on Thursday, according to an AFP tally at 1900 GMT compiled from official sources.

A total of 230,309 deaths have been registered from 3,218,415 cases, the tally showed. Europe is the worst hit continent with 137,714 deaths, while the United States has registered the most for one country with 61,717.

Almost 90 percent of the fatalities from a pandemic which first appeared in China in December have occurred in Europe and the United States. — AFP

April 30, 2020

The Department of Health reports 276 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the national tally to 8,488.

There are 20 new recoveries and 10 new deaths. 

April 30, 2020

The United States records 2,502 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, according to the latest real-time tally on Wednesday reported by Johns Hopkins University.

After two days of a relative easing in the toll on Sunday and Monday, the numbers have spiked again the past two days. 

At least 60,853 people have now died in the country, according to the Baltimore-based university. — AFP

April 29, 2020

The Department of Health reports 254 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the national tally to 8,212.

The Health department also announces 48 new recoveries. 

April 29, 2020

The number of US deaths from the novel coronavirus has surpassed the toll of Americans killed in the Vietnam War, the Johns Hopkins University tracker shows.

The pandemic has killed 58,365 people in the United States, the Baltimore-based university said. According to the National Archives, 58,220 Americans were killed in combat and from other causes such as accidents during years of war in Southeast Asia.

Vietnamese authorities in Hanoi have said in their official account of the war that 1.2 million soldiers, both North Vietnamese regulars and Viet Cong guerrillas, were killed. Another two to three million civilians died, officials there say. —-- AFP

April 28, 2020

More than 210,000 people have died worldwide in the coronavirus pandemic, 85% of them in Europe and the United States, according to a tally compiled by AFP from official sources on Tuesday,

A total of 210,930 deaths have been recorded among 3,027,853 cases since the outbreak began in China late last year.

April 28, 2020

The Department of Health reports 181 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the Philippines at 7,958.

The Health department also announces 43 new recoveries. 

April 28, 2020

Spain's unemployment rate jumps in the first quarter of 2020 to 14.4 percent, figures from national statistics institute INE showed, as a nationwide coronavirus lockdown hit the eurozone's fourth largest economy.

The jobless rate was up from 13.8 percent in the previous quarter, the highest level in the eurozone after Greece. Spain, one of the hardest-hit nations by the pandemic, imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 14 which has largely paralysed its economy. — AFP

April 28, 2020

The United States now has an overall death toll of 56,144, with 987,022 infections, according to a tally by the Baltimore-based institution at 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Tuesday).

At least 111,109 people have recovered from the virus. — AFP

April 28, 2020

More than three million cases of coronavirus have been officially registered across the world, with nearly 80% in Europe and the United States, according to a tally by AFP at 2050 GMT Monday using official figures.

At least 3,003,344 infections have been detected, including 209,388 deaths, mostly in Europe where there are 1,393,779 cases and 126,233 deaths.

The United States, the country where the pandemic is progressing the most rapidly, has 980,008 cases including 55,637 deaths.

The number of detected cases is believed to represent only a fraction of the true number of infections because most countries carry out only limited testing. — AFP

April 27, 2020

The United States records 1,330 more novel coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, according to figures reported late Sunday by the Johns Hopkins University.

The country now has an overall death toll of 54,841, with 964,937 confirmed infections, according to a tally by the Baltimore-based institution at 8:30 p.m. (0030 GMT Monday).

The United States is by far the hardest-hit country in the global pandemic, in terms of both confirmed infections and deaths. — AFP

April 27, 2020

The new coronavirus has claimed at least 204,696 lives since its outbreak in China in December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Sunday.

More than 2,929,630 cases were registered in 193 countries and territories. Of these cases, at least 797,800 are now considered recovered. 

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

April 27, 2020

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to his official London residence after spending more than two weeks recovering from a  coronavirus infection, his office says.

"I can confirm that the prime minister has returned to Downing Street," an official told AFP. Johnson will resume his duties on Monday after recovering at his country residence. — AFP

April 27, 2020

Italy reports its lowest coronavirus death toll in over a month on Sunday as the government prepared to announce a gradual easing of the country's lockdown.

The 260 daily fatalities reported by the civil protection service were the lowest since March 14. Italy's COVID-19 death toll now stands at 26,644 — second only to the United States. — AFP

April 26, 2020

Beijing has banned "uncivilized" behavior such as not covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, the city government says Sunday, in a new set of regulations to improve public hygiene amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The laws aim to promote "civilized behavior" and relate to combating the pandemic which has infected more than 82,000 in China alone.

Rulebreakers will be slapped with fines for offenses including not wearing a mask in public when ill, the municipal government says on its website.

The laws also require public places to set up one meter distance markers and to provide communal chopsticks and serving spoons for shared meals.

Citizens must also "dress neatly" in public and not go shirtless — an apparent reference to the so-called "Beijing bikini" practice where men roll T-shirts up to expose their stomachs in hot weather. — AFP

April 26, 2020

The nationwide lockdown since mid-March is meant to keep coronavirus cases down in the country, but it has led to a spike in another sad statistic: domestic violence.

The head of Iraq's community police, Brigadier General Ghalib Atiyah, told AFP that its log of domestic violence cases has increased by an average of 30 percent since the curfew came into force -- with some areas seeing as high as a 50-percent spike.

In a single week, the United Nations in Iraq (UNAMI) reported: "The rape of a woman with special needs, spousal abuse, immolation and self-immolation as well as self-inflicted injuries due to spousal abuse, sexual harassment of minors, and suicide due to domestic abuse among other crimes." — AFP

April 26, 2020

Spaniards will be allowed out for exercise and to take walks from next weekend, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says Saturday, in the latest move to ease one of the world's tightest coronavirus lockdowns.

And the government will on Tuesday unveil its broader lockdown exit plan that will likely be put into action in the second half of May, he says. 

"If the pandemic keeps evolving positively as it has been doing until now, from May 2, individual physical activity will be permitted and walks with the people you live with," he says. 

Unlike most other countries in the world, since imposing a lockdown on March 14, Spain has not allowed anyone out for walks, jogs or bike rides, allowing them to leave home only to buy food or medicine or to briefly walk the dog, other than for a medical emergency. — AFP

April 26, 2020

The World Health Organization warned on Saturday that recovery from coronavirus might not protect a person from reinfection as the global death toll from the pandemic surpassed 200,000.

Hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world spent the second day of the Ramadan holy month out of mosques and avoiding large family meals to break the fast because of sequestration and social distancing policies.

And Australians and New Zealanders marked Anzac Day without the normal parades and public ceremonies to commemorate fallen soldiers. Instead, under social distancing policies, people held dawn vigils in front of their homes.

Even as governments from Sri Lanka to Belgium to the United States began moving in the direction of partial reopening, the COVID-19 pandemic still had nearly half of humanity under some form of lockdown or confinement.

Total cases around the world rose to 2.86 million and deaths mounted past the 200,000 mark, doubling since April 10, according to an AFP tally. — AFP

April 25, 2020

The Department of Health reports 102 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the total number of cases to 7,294.

There are 30 new recoveries and 17 new deaths, the Health department adds.

April 25, 2020

The South Korean government donates $500,000 worth of COVID-19 test kits to the Philippines.

The donation contains 700 kits which can yield 35,000 tests (700 kits x 50 tests per 1 kit).

April 25, 2020

According to a tracker maintained by John Hopkins University, the United States recorded 1,258 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the lowest daily toll in the country in nearly three weeks.

The fatalities, recorded in the 24 hours up to 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Saturday), bring the overall US death toll to 51,017, according to the Baltimore-based university.

The United States is by far the hardest-hit country in the global pandemic, in terms of both confirmed infections and deaths. — AFP

April 24, 2020

The Department of Health reports 211 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the national tally to 7,192 cases.

There are 40 new recoveries, the DOH adds. 

April 24, 2020

Youth and student organizations hit Commission on Higher Education chief Prospero De Vera III for his comments on the proposal to suspend classes until December amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK), an activist youth organization, and the Student Solidarity Network to Survive COVID-19, a coalition of student councils, governments and campus organizations, say De Vera is “risking student lives to serve the interests of capitalist-educators.”

“De Vera’s latest batch of comments reveals that, even with the lives of millions of students being in his hands, he is willing to look the other way and lick the boots of those who bleed our education system dry for money,” says John Lazaro, SPARK national spokesperson.

April 24, 2020

The novel coronavirus has killed nearly 50,000 people in the United States, after one of the deadliest days of the pandemic which saw 3,176 deaths, according to a tally Thursday from Johns Hopkins University.

The deaths were recorded in the 24 hours up to 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Friday), bringing the overall coronavirus death toll in the US to 49,759, according to the Baltimore-based university. — Agence France Presse

April 24, 2020

The worldwide death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic rises to 186,462 on Thursday, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT. 

The global death toll rises by 4,576 over the past 24 hours and a total number of cases increased by 68,017 worldwide.

More than 2,675,050 declared cases have been registered in 193 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December.  Of these cases, at least 708,400 are now considered recovered. — AFP

April 23, 2020

China announces Thursday it will give another $30 million to the World Health Organization to help in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic, days after Washington said it would freeze funding.

The US, which is the WHO's biggest contributor, accused the organisation last week of "mismanaging" the COVID-19 crisis, drawing ire from Beijing as both countries spar over the deadly virus.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the new donation would be in addition to a previous $20 million committed, and would help "strengthen developing countries' health systems". 

He added that China's contribution to the UN agency "reflects the support and trust of the Chinese government and people for the WHO".

In announcing the funding freeze last week, US President Donald Trump accused the WHO of covering up the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak in China before it spread.

He has also charged the WHO with being "very China-centric" despite Washington's heavy funding. — AFP

April 23, 2020

The Department of Health reports 271 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases to 6,981.

There are 29 new recoveries and 16 new deaths.

April 23, 2020

At least 48 crew aboard a cruise ship docked in the Japanese city of Nagasaki have tested positive for coronavirus, local authorities say after confirming 14 additional cases.

The Costa Atlantica first arrived in Nagasaki in January to undergo repairs, with around 600 crew on board.

Officials say they hoped to test all crew members by the end of the week with "some 200 to 300" tests likely to be conducted on Thursday. — AFP

April 23, 2020

More than 180,000 people in the world have died from the novel coronavirus, nearly two-thirds of them in Europe, since it emerged in China last December, according to an AFP tally based on official sources.

In total, 180,289 deaths have been recorded worldwide for 2,596,383 infections, according to the tally at 1740 GMT. There were 112,848 deaths in Europe for 1,263,802 cases on the hardest-hit continent.

The United States is the country with the most deaths at 45,153, ahead of Italy with 25,085, Spain 21,717, France 21,340 and Britain with 18,100.

April 23, 2020

The United States records 1,738 deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, a lower toll than the day before, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The new deaths bring the total number of COVID-19 fatalities in the US to 46,583 since the outbreak began there, by far the highest figures recorded by any country caught in the global pandemic. — AFP

April 22, 2020

Germany has authorized its first clinical test of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, the country's regulatory body says, green-lighting trials on human volunteers for an RNA vaccine developed by German firm Biontech and US giant Pfizer.

"The Paul-Ehrlich-Institut... has authorised the first clinical trial of a vaccine against COVID-19 in Germany," the regulatory body PEI says in a statement. 

The trial, which was only the fourth to have been authorised worldwide, was a "significant step" in making a vaccine "available as soon as possible", the institute adds. — AFP

April 22, 2020

The Department of Health announces 111 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the national tally to 6,710.

The Health department also reports nine new deaths and 39 new recoveries.

April 22, 2020

At least 34 crew members aboard a cruise ship docked in the Japanese city of Nagasaki have tested positive for coronavirus, local authorities said on Wednesday.

The Costa Atlantica first arrived in Nagasaki in January to undergo repairs, with several hundred crew on board.

Over the weekend, the ship's operator contacted local authorities seeking help to test suspected cases on board.

An initial four tests carried out on the ship revealed a first infection on Monday, with additional testing among 57 crew finding a total of 34 cases by Wednesday. — AFP

April 22, 2020

The coronavirus death toll in the United States -- the country with the most fatalities in the pandemic -- has climbed by 2,751 in the past 24 hours, the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University shows.

The US has recorded more than 800,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the Baltimore-based university, with 44,845 deaths.

Nearly 40,000 new cases were reported between Monday at 8:30pm local time, and Tuesday at the same time, the university says. — AFP

April 22, 2020

The worldwide death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic rises to 174,001, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT. 

More than 2,525,240 declared cases have been registered in 193 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December. 

Of these cases, at least 567,400 are now considered recovered. — AFP

April 21, 2020

Authorities in Greece have locked down a migrant hotel in the Peloponnese where 150 people have tested positive for the new coronavirus, a local official said Tuesday.

Iosif Mertiris, deputy mayor of the town of Ermionida -- some 166 kilometers southwest of Athens -- told state TV ERT that 150 of the 470 asylum-seekers staying at the hotel had tested positive.

He added that there was tight security at the scene.

"Police are stationed around the hotel, nobody is allowed in or out," he said. 

"The local municipality will assure supplies as it's mostly families inside," Mertiris said.

Deputy minister for civil protection Nikos Hardalias played down the threat to the wider population. 

"There's no need for panic. Everything that needs to be done will be done according to regulations," he told ERT as he headed into an emergency meeting in the area. -- AFP

April 21, 2020

Taguig will expand its barangay-based and drive-thru testing for COVID-19 beginning April 22.

“Many experts have seen increased COVID-19 testing as an effective tool to decrease transmissions and more effectively treat those infected. We are heeding their suggestions,” says Mayor Lino Cayetano.

April 21, 2020

Food insecurity was on the rise last year and the coronavirus crisis is likely to further exacerbate the situation, according to the Global Report on Food Crises released Tuesday by the United Nations.

It found that 135 million people in 55 countries were in living in situations of acute food crises or outright humanitarian emergencies last year.

The increase by more than 20 million people takes it to a record level in the four years the report has been compiled.

The report is due to be presented later Tuesday to the UN Security Council by the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization and World Food Programme.

Comparing the 50 countries in the reports this and last year, the number of people in food crisis rose by nearly 10 percent to 123 million people.

The increase was due to conflicts, economic shocks and weather-related events such as drought.

The report found another 183 million were at risk of slipping into food crisis "if confronted by an additional shock or stressor". -- AFP

April 21, 2020

A possible explosion in coronavirus cases when millions travel to hometowns and ancestral villages after Ramadan has forced Indonesia's president to issue a ban on the annual exodus.

Like Christmas or the Chinese Lunar New Year, the movement kicks off an extended holiday when many Indonesians celebrate Eid al-Fitr with their families to mark the end of Ramadan.

The government has called on residents of major cities, including the capital Jakarta, to stay put, and President Joko Widodo said he would ban any mass migration. -- AFP

April 21, 2020

The Department of Health reports 140 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the national tally to 6,599.

The Health department also announces 41 new recoveries.

April 21, 2020

Officials of the the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation and the Department of Public Works and Highways have prepared 350 hospital beds for the DPWH converted COVID-19 quarantine facility. 

The beds are now used in PICC Forum Hall, Ninoy Aquino Stadium and Rizal Memorial Complex.

April 21, 2020

The coronavirus death toll in the United States -- the country with the most fatalities in the pandemic -- has climbed by 1,433 in the past 24 hours to reach 42,094, the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University shows.

The US has recorded more than 784,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the global health crisis, according to the Baltimore-based university. — AFP

April 21, 2020

The worldwide death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic rises to 167,594, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT. 

More than 2,437,170 declared cases have been registered in 193 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December. 

Of these cases, at least 545,400 are now considered recovered. 

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

April 20, 2020

There have been 2,403,410 reported COVID-19 infections around the world, from which 165,216 people have died, according to an AFP tally at 1100 GMT Monday based on official sources.

The United States has the most deaths of any country with 40,683 fatalities.

Italy is the second hardest-hit country, with 23,660 dead. Spain follows with 20,852, then France with 19,718 and Britain with 16,060.

In Spain the daily death toll dips below 400 for the first time in four weeks. -- AFP

April 20, 2020

Police fought running battles overnight in Paris's low-income northern suburbs with residents alleging heavy-handedness by officers enforcing France's strict coronavirus lockdown.

Residents burned trash and cars and shot fireworks at police, who responded with rubber bullets and tear gas in the suburbs of Villeneuve-la-Garenne and Aulnay-sous-Bois, witnesses and police said on Monday.

The tensions were ignited in the early hours of Saturday when a motorcyclist was injured during a police check in Villeneuve-la-Garenne, prompting about 50 angry bystanders to gather.

A police statement said the group targeted officers with "projectiles" in a near two-hour standoff. — AFP

April 20, 2020

MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia confirms that he has tested negative for the coronavirus disease.

Garcia says he will continue to self-isolate in accordance with Department of Health guidelines after recovering from the infectious disease.

April 20, 2020

The Philippines records 41 new recoveries from the infectious coronavirus disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 613.

The Department of Health confirms 200 new cases of the virus in the country, raising the total cases in the Philippines to 6,459.

The DOH also reports 19 new deaths, which brings the national toll to 428.

April 20, 2020

Former Sen. Heherson Alvarez passes away due to COVID-19, according to PDP-Laban spokesperson Ron Munsayac as reported by News5.

He was also Secretary of Agrarian Reform during the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino.

April 20, 2020

The worldwide death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic rises to 164,016, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT. 

More than 2,363,210 declared cases have been registered in 193 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December. 

Of these cases, at least 525,200 are now considered recovered. — AFP

April 20, 2020

France reports 395 deaths from COVID-19 in 24 hours as the number of new hospitalisations continued a slow decline.

The new deaths — 227 in hospitals and 168 in nursing homes — brought France's total epidemic death toll to 19,718, top health official Jerome Salomon told reporters. — AFP

April 20, 2020

The number of people in Britain who have died in hospital from the coronavirus has risen by 596 to 16,060, according to daily health ministry figures on Sunday.

As of 5 pm on 18 April, of those hospitalised in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus, 16,060 have sadly died," said the ministry, up from 15,464 earlier. — AFP

April 19, 2020

The Department of Health reports 172 new cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, bringing the total number of cases to 6,259.

It also tallies 12 more deaths, bringing the count to 409.

DOH says there have been 572 recoveries, up by 56 cases.

April 19, 2020

The coronavirus death toll in the United States climbed by 1,891 in the past 24 hours to reach 38,664 on Saturday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The US has seen a total of 732,197 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the global health crisis, according to the Baltimore-based university.

It is the highest number of virus cases and deaths of any country in the world.

Also Saturday, coronavirus deaths surged past 100,000 in Europe, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the 157,539 fatalities worldwide. ?— AFP

April 18, 2020

The Department of Health reports 209 new COVID-19 cases, bring the national tally to 6,087.

There are 29 new recoveries and 10 deaths.

April 18, 2020

A top military official says tests on the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, which was struck by an outbreak of COVID-19, found that two-thirds of sailors who tested positive were asymptomatic. 

Nearly the entire crew was tested after the coronavirus outbreak forced the nuclear-powered carrier to dock in Guam. One crew member has died. — AFP

April 18, 2020

Guimaras Electric Cooperative launches the Pantawid Liwanag Program which aims to waive power bills of lifeline consumers in the Province of Guimaras.

"This means that our consumers who have 25kWh or less consumption for the April 2020 reading will no longer have to pay their bills," says GUIMELCO General Manager Shirley Laurente.

April 18, 2020

The worldwide death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic rises to 150,142, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT. 

More than 2,207,730 declared cases have been registered in 193 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December. 

April 17, 2020

The Department of Public Works and Highways starts the clearing and disinfection procedures in the three mega tents prior to construction of “Heal as One” healthcare facilities at Ciudad de Victoria estate in Bocaue, Bulacan 

Secretary Mark Villar says that workers from DPWH Region 3 were deployed at the mega tents owned by the Iglesia Ni Cristo in preparation for the modification works into quarantine center beginning Monday.
 

April 17, 2020

The Department of Health reports, 218 new cases of COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number to 5,878.

52 new recovies and 25 new deaths are recorded.

April 17, 2020

Watchdog Human Rights Watch says the government should act urgently to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus disease inside the country's overcrowded prisons before it’s too late.

"Finding that the coronavirus has infected 18 inmates and personnel at the Quezon City Jail shows why it’s so critical the government actively pursues early release of detainees charged with low-level, nonviolent offenses, as well as the sick and older inmates," says Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch in a statement.

April 17, 2020

China's coronavirus ground-zero city of Wuhan abruptly raises its death toll by 50 percent to a total of 3,869, admitting that many cases were "mistakenly reported" or missed entirely.

The adjustment, detailed in a social media posting by the city government, adds 1,290 deaths to the tally in Wuhan, where the global pandemic emerged and which has suffered the vast majority of China's fatalities from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. — AFP

April 17, 2020

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology says nine detainees at the Quezon City jail tested positive for COVID-19.

April 17, 2020

The IMF approves nearly $1.4 billion in emergency aid to Pakistan to help it weather the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

"While uncertainty remains high, the near-term economic impact of COVID-19 is expected to be significant, giving rise to large fiscal and external financing needs," the international lender says in a statement. — AFP

April 17, 2020

President Donald Trump says that more sparsely populated states where coronavirus is not a problem can reopen their economies "literally tomorrow."

"You're talking about those states that are in great shape already? They will be able to go literally tomorrow," he says.

In other comments, Trump named North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming as "a lot different" to hard-hit states like New York. — AFP

April 17, 2020

The global coronavirus death toll passes 140,000, with nearly two thirds of all fatalities in Europe, according to an AFP tally Thursday at 1800 GMT. 

In total, 140,902 people have died of the virus, including 92,900 in Europe, the hardest hit continent in the world.

There are now more than 2.1 million recorded infections globally, nearly half of which are in Europe. 

The United States has the most deaths with 31,590 fatalities, followed by Italy with 22,170 and Spain's 19,130. 

The tallies were collated using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO).  — AFP

April 16, 2020

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday expanded a state of emergency due to the coronavirus to cover the whole country to stem the growing spread of the disease.

The declaration allows regional governors to urge people to stay indoors, but with no punitive measures or legal force, the measure is far weaker than strict lockdowns seen in other parts of the world.

Abe had already declared a month-long state of emergency in seven regions, including Tokyo, where a recent spike in cases has prompted warnings that emergency medical facilities could collapse.

"Areas where a state of emergency should be carried out will be expanded from the seven prefectures to all prefectures," Abe told a special meeting called to discuss the disease.

He said the state of emergency would remain in force until May 6, urging the 126 million people in the country to form a "united front."

With the world's third-largest economy heading for a crippling recession, Abe also unveiled plans to distribute 100,000 yen ($930) to every citizen. — AFP

April 16, 2020

The Department of Health confirms that 82 more patients recovered from the deadly coronavirus disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 435.

The Philippines records an additional 207 new cases on Thursday, raising the total number of cases in the country to 5,660.

The DOH also confirms 13 new deaths, raising the national toll to 362.

April 16, 2020

Several senators file a resolution calling for the resignation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III for his failure of leadership in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

These include Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senators Ralph Recto, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Grace Poe, Manny Pacquiao, Sherwin Gatchalian, Francis Tolentino, Joel Villanueva, Ronald dela Rosa, Imee Marcos, Lito Lapid, Bong Revilla and Panfilo Lacson.

April 16, 2020

The United States recordeds nearly 2,600 additional deaths from the new coronavirus in 24 hours, a new record and the heaviest daily toll of any country, Johns Hopkins University says

A running tally from Johns Hopkins showed 2,569 victims at 8:30 pm Eastern Time (0030 GMT Thursday), compared with the same time the previous evening, bringing the total number of US deaths to 28,326 — higher than any other nation. — AFP

April 16, 2020

The worldwide death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic rises to 131,639 on Wednesday, according to a tally compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT from official sources.

More than 2,033,620 declared cases have been registered in 193 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December. Of these cases, at least 436,100 are now considered recovered. 

In the past 24 hours, 7,721 new deaths and 71,643 new infections have been recorded around the world. — AFP

April 15, 2020

The European Union's top foreign policy representative on Wednesday denounced US President Donald Trump's decision to suspend US funding for the World Health Organization.

"Deeply regret US decision to suspend funding to WHO," High Representative Josep Borrell said in a tweet. 

"There is no reason justifying this move at a moment when their efforts are needed more than ever to help contain and mitigate the coronavirus pandemic," he said. 

"Only by joining forces we can overcome this crisis that knows no borders." -- AFP

April 15, 2020

The Department of Health says there are 230 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 5,453.

There are 58 new recoveries from the illness, the Health department adds.

April 15, 2020

At least 12,000 sets of personal protective equipment from China arrive at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The PPEs are part of the 1 million sets worth P 1.8 billion that the Philippine government has procured for medical frontliners fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr, chief Implementer of the National Action Plan against COVID-19 and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian lead the turn-over event at NAIA.

April 15, 2020

The worldwide death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic rises to 123,920 on Tuesday, according to a tally compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT from official sources. 

More than 1,961,950 declared cases have been registered in 193 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December. Of these cases, at least 413,800 are now considered recovered. 

In the past 24 hours 6,177 new deaths and 72,433 new infections have been recorded around the world. — AFP

April 14, 2020

Bahrain has turned a car park near the capital Manama into an intensive care unit with 130 beds for patients infected with the novel coronavirus, in a first in the Gulf.

The new ICU in the covered car park was set up as a precautionary measure in case of a spike in cases of the COVID-19 respiratory disease, officials said. 

The small Gulf country, whose population stands at 1.5 million, has recorded more than 1,500 cases, of whom seven people have died and 645 have recovered.

According to official statistics, only three people are currently in critical condition. 

"The new ICU is a precautionary step in case there are any developments," Sheikh Khalid bin Ali Al-Khalifa, the Royal Medical Services commander, told reporters at the inauguration on Tuesday.

"We are able in record time, in seven days, to establish this unit with 130 beds... working day and night.

"This is the first time that such an equipped (temporary) unit has been established in the Gulf." -- AFP

April 14, 2020

The Department of Health reports 291 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the tally to 5,223.

There are 20 new deaths and 53 new recoveries.

April 14, 2020

Detained Sen. Leila de Lima welcomes the calls from several government agencies and international organizations to release persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) to decongest jails amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I welcome the calls of both the House Committee on Justice and the DSWD regarding the immediate release of qualified PDLs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. From what I have heard, the matter is now under study by the DOJ,” she says.

“Pero nandito pa rin tayo, usad-pagong sa mga plano; wala pa ring mapanghawakang kongkretong aksyon ukol sa kalunos-lunos na kalagayan sa mga bilangguan,” she adds.

 

April 14, 2020

France extends its nationwide lockdown for another month in a bid to halt the coronavirus pandemic, as other hard-hit countries considered easing their measures with hopes rising that death rates may soon plateau.

More than half of humanity is now under confinement to contain the virus, which has killed at least 119,000 people and infected two million since emerging in China late last year. — AFP

April 14, 2020

The United States records 1,509 deaths related to the coronavirus pandemic over the past 24 hours, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University as of 8:30 pm Monday (0030 GMT Tuesday).

The number of fatalities was similar to the previous day's toll of 1,514.

The outbreak has now claimed the lives of at least 23,529 people in the US, the most of any country. — AFP

April 14, 2020

Some 574 people have died in France from COVID-19 in 24 hours, the health ministry says, bringing the total to 14,967 since the coronavirus outbreak began.

A total of 335 of the deaths occurred in hospitals, up from 315 the previous day, while 239 deaths were recorded in nursing homes.

For the fifth day in a row, the number of patients in intensive care fell, with 24 fewer people, leaving 6,821 in a serious condition. — AFP

April 14, 2020

The World Health Organization says that a safe and effective vaccine would be needed to fully halt the spread of COVID-19, which has killed more than 114,000 people worldwide.

"Our global connectedness means the risk of re-introduction and resurgence of COVID19 will continue," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from Geneva, stressing that "ultimately, the development and delivery of a safe and effective vaccine will be needed to fully interrupt transmission." — AFP

April 13, 2020

Key industries are warning of social unrest unless India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes concessions when he announces any extension Tuesday to a three-week pandemic-lockdown for the country's 1.3 billion people.

The lockdown ends at midnight Tuesday, but several state chief ministers have already said they plan to extend it for at least two more weeks.

With time running out, the government has not laid out any national plan.

Modi, who is to make a nationwide address at 0430 GMT Tuesday, is caught between growing fears over the pandemic -- cases have surged in recent days to more than 9,150 with 308 deaths -- and the need to get the economy moving again.

Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das called the coronavirus an "invisible assassin" that could cause havoc with the economy. 

The national restaurants association, which said its members employed seven million people, warned Monday there could be "social unrest" if it did not receive financial relief.  -- AFP

April 13, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs has brought home 12,970 distressed OFWs from land-based and sea-based postings abroad, the department says in a statement.

On Monday morning, Filipino crew members of the MS Norwegian Epic, MS Marina and MS Norwegian Spirit flew into Manila on chartered flights.

"Upon arrival of the 822 seafarers, the Department of Health-Bureau of Quarantine (DOH-BOQ) conducted mandatory quarantine inspection and briefing for the repatriated seafarers. The seafarers of MS Norwegian Epic and MS Marina will undergo a 14-day facility-based quarantine while those of MS Norwegian Spirit will undergo home quarantine, following separate assessments made by the DOH-BOQ," DFA says.

April 13, 2020

The worldwide death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic rises to 112,510 on Sunday, according to a tally compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT from official sources.

More than 1,824,950 declared cases have been registered in over 190 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December. Of these cases, at least 375,500 are now considered recovered. 

In the past 24 hours, 5,441 new deaths and 79,512 new infections were recorded around the world. — AFP

April 13, 2020

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refuses the resignation of his interior minister over his handling of an abrupt nationwide lockdown that led to panic buying.

Suleyman Soylu's resignation had not been accepted, says a statement from Erdogan. "He is going to continue to carry out his functions," he adds.

Soylu came in for fierce criticism after a 48-hour nationwide shutdown to counter the spread of the coronavirus was announced on Friday night with just two hours' notice, sparking panic-buying. — AFP

April 13, 2020

Britain's coronavirus death toll passes 10,000, after another 737 people died from the virus in the latest count, the health ministry said on Sunday.

The country has now recorded 10,612 deaths in hospitals from COVID-19.

The increase was lower than the nearly 1,000 fatalities recorded on each of the previous two days, but means Britain still has one of the highest COVID-19 daily death rates globally. — AFP

April 12, 2020

North Korea called for stronger measures against the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic at a meeting presided by leader Kim Jong Un, state media reported Sunday, without acknowledging whether the country had reported any infections.

The already isolated, nuclear-armed North quickly shut down its borders after the virus was first detected in neighbouring China in January, and imposed strict containment measures.

Officials in Pyongyang and its state media have repeatedly insisted that the North remains totally free of the virus, but Sunday's report did not make that assertion.

The coronavirus epidemic -- which has infected more than 1.7 million worldwide -- had become "a great disaster threatening the whole mankind, regardless of borders and continents", the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

"Such environment can become a condition creating some obstacles to our struggle and progress," it said, adding Pyongyang maintained "very stable anti-epidemic situation".

The meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea on Saturday discussed changing policy tasks in the wake of the epidemic, KCNA reported, as officials called for strict and thorough check of the infiltration of the virus. — AFP

April 11, 2020

The Department of Health reports 233 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the tally to 4,428.

There are 17 new recoveries and 26 fatalities. 

April 11, 2020

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian announces that it will start its first localized testing on Saturday. 

The local government unit, in cooperation with The Medical City, can test a minimum of 25 a day. Residents can expect results within three to five days based on laboratory turnaround times. 

April 11, 2020

US records more than 500,000 coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins.

April 10, 2020

The worldwide number of fatalities from the novel coronavirus pandemic rises to 93,706, according to a tally compiled by AFP from official sources.

More than 1,567,590 declared cases have been registered in 192 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December. Of these cases, at least 316,800 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization, probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

April 10, 2020

The United States records 1,783 coronavirus deaths over the past 24 hours.

The number of fatalities was lower than the previous day's record toll of 1,973.

The total number of US fatalities linked to the virus now stands at 16,478, the second-highest tally in the world after Italy. — AFP

April 10, 2020

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls for the Security Council to unite in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, calling it "the fight of a generation — and the 'raison d'être' of the United Nations itself."

"A signal of unity and resolve from the Council would count for a lot at this anxious time," he tells the group which was holding its first meeting on the new coronavirus by videoconference.

The contents of Guterres' speech was relayed to AFP by diplomats attending the session, which was still ongoing. — AFP

April 10, 2020

EU finance ministers agrees a 500-billion-euro ($550-billion) rescue Thursday for European countries hit hard by the coronavirus epidemic, but sidelines a demand by Italy and France for pooled borrowing.

"Europe has decided and is ready to meet the gravity of the crisis," tweets French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire after the talks. — AFP

April 10, 2020

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson left intensive care, where he had spent the three previous days for treatment against coronavirus, his Downing Street office says.

"The Prime Minister has been moved this evening from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery," says the statement. — AFP

April 9, 2020

The Philippines receives 20 units of COVID-19 test kits from the Government of Brunei Darussalam through its Ministry of Health.

The test kits, which yield a total of 1,000 tests, were delivered immediately to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. 

April 9, 2020

Education Secretary Leonor Briones announces that she tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

"I am going on isolation. However, like my fellow Cabinet member, I will continue working - virtually attend IATF meetings, preside over the DepEd EXECOM and MANCOM, and make all decisions necessary to keep DepEd in full operation," says Briones in a statement.

April 9, 2020

A solon is pushing for the establishment of the molecular and microbiological laboratory of the Caraga Regional Hospital to be equipped and included as a testing and screening facility for COVID-19 patients. 

"While there is still only one confirmed case in Caraga, the number of PUIs in the is continuously rising, and there’s no way we can determine the real numbers unless we pursue mass testing in Caraga," says Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun in a release.  

"Caraga has five provinces and six cities with several municipalities remotely situated. Currently, it takes significantly longer for us to know the results of tests on patients from the region because the collected specimens still have to be brought to the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City which is already overwhelmed by the demands of Davao Region alone," he adds.

April 9, 2020

The United States has recorded nearly 2,000 novel coronavirus deaths for a second day in a row, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University as of 8:30 pm Wednesday (0030 GMT Thursday).

The record-breaking figure of 1,973 deaths (slightly higher than the previous day's toll of 1,939) brings the total number of US fatalities to 14,695. The US death toll now exceeds that of Spain, which has suffered 14,555 deaths, but has not surpassed Italy, whose toll stands at 17,669. — AFP

April 8, 2020

Global trade growth is expected to plummet by up to a third in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the World Trade Organization said Wednesday, warning that the numbers would be "ugly".

"World trade is expected to fall by between 13 percent and 32 percent in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts normal economic activity and life around the world," the WTO said in a statement.

There were a wide range of possibilities for how trade would be hit by the "unprecedented" health crisis, it added.

However, WTO chief Roberto Azevedo warned the downturn "may well be the deepest economic recession or downturn of our lifetimes".

In its main annual forecast, the 164-member WTO pointed out that trade had already been slowing in 2019, before the emergence of the novel coronavirus.

But the virus has now infected some 1.4 million people since late last year, killing more than 80,000 and forcing governments across the world to take radical measures.

More than half of humanity has been asked to stay at home and economic activity has ground to a virtual standstill in many places. -- AFP

April 8, 2020

The World Health Organization's European office says that despite seeing "positive signs" from some countries, it was too early to scale back measures aimed at containing the spread of the new coronavirus.

"Now is not the time to relax measures. It is the time to once again double and triple our collective efforts to drive towards suppression with the whole support of society," WHO regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, says. ?— AFP

April 8, 2020

The Department of Health reports 106 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the tally to 3,870.

There are 23 new recoveries and five new fatalities, the DOH adds.

April 8, 2020

Voicing joy and excitement from behind face masks, tens of thousands of people fled Wuhan on Wednesday after a 76-day travel ban was lifted on the Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged.

Previously quiet train and bus stations bustled as an exodus began from the city of 11 million, with some passengers wearing hazmat suits.

Hao Mei, a single parent from the nearby city of Enshi, said her two children had been home alone since she got stuck in Wuhan, where she works in a school kitchen.

"You have no idea! I was already up around 4 am. I felt so good. My kids are so excited. Mum is finally coming home," the 39-year-old told AFP as she waited to board a train.

"At the start of the lockdown, I cried every night. I was really miserable, because my little girl is still young, she's only 10."

Up to 55,000 people are expected to leave Wuhan on Wednesday just by train, according to government estimates. -- AFP

April 8, 2020

The National Telecommunications Commission and United Nations Children’s Fund join hands with the telecommunications to ensure parents and children’s security both online and offline amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Upon UNICEF’s request, the NTC extends its support in spreading information to alleviate the situation. The telecommunications sector is sending out text blasts encouraging subscribers to visit unicef.ph and saferkidsph.org for information and tips on how to support parents and children in managing the impact of COVID-19. 

April 8, 2020

US President Donald Trump threatens to put a "hold" on funds to the World Health Organization, accusing it of bias toward China and performing badly in the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump tells he was "going to put a very powerful hold on" the WHO, the UN body whose biggest funding source is the United States. He gave no details about how much money would be withheld or when. — AFP

April 8, 2020

The worldwide number of fatalities from the novel coronavirus rises 80,142, according to a tally compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT from official sources.

More than 1,397,180 declared cases have been registered in 192 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December. Of these cases, at least 257,100 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP offices from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

April 7, 2020

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was battling the coronavirus in intensive care on Tuesday, raising serious concerns about his health and the government's response to the still-escalating outbreak.

"The prime minister has been stable overnight and remains in good spirits," his official spokesman told reporters at a daily briefing.

He added the 55-year-old Conservative premier was receiving "standard oxygen treatment and breathing without any other assistance" and had not required a ventilator.

Johnson is the most high-profile leader to become infected and messages of support flooded in from across Britain and the world.

He was admitted to intensive care on Monday evening and asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deputise for him "where necessary", effectively putting him in charge. -- AFP

April 7, 2020

Two elderly South Korean coronavirus patients recovered from severe pneumonia after being treated with plasma from survivors, researchers said Tuesday, offering hope in the face of the global pandemic.

Scientists have pointed to the potential benefits of plasma -- a blood fluid -- from recovered individuals who have developed antibodies to the virus enabling the body's defences to attack it.

Since emerging in China in December, the coronavirus has killed almost 75,000 people as drugmakers worldwide race to develop a vaccine and treatments for the disease.

Plasma therapy could become "an alternative treatment for patients in critical condition who do not respond to antiviral drugs," said Choi Jun-yong, a doctor and researcher at Severance Hospital in Seoul, where both patients were treated.

But large-scale clinical trials were needed to prove its effectiveness, he added. -- AFP

April 7, 2020

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) expects to process 10,000 COVID-19 test samples a day within the next three months, the coronavirus task force said.

The hospital is also preparing to distribute 900,000 testing kits to various accredited testing centers in the country.

"Focus on testing and we'll take care of the logistics. We will help you fulfill your requirements. Tell us what you need and we will help you," COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez told administrators of the medical facility.

April 7, 2020

The Department of Health reports 104 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 3,764. 

The Health department also announces 11 new recoveries. 

April 7, 2020

Deep in the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil, where rivers are the only highways, the coronavirus pandemic is sharply limiting boat traffic, leaving villages even more cut off from the world than before.

Canoes, motor boats and ferries are the cars, trucks and buses of the Amazon, bringing people and goods to remote communities that can only be reached by river -- sometimes with a journey of more than a week.

But because of the pandemic, authorities in Amazonas state have restricted river traffic to essential travel, seeking to stop the spread of the virus in a region that could be particularly vulnerable to it.

Cargo transport is operating normally, but passenger transport is restricted to exceptional circumstances such as medical emergencies and essential services like paramedics and police, said Jerfeson Caldas, regional coordinator for national health agency Anvisa.

Even those trips are bound by special rules: boats can only operate at 40 percent of their passenger capacity, and must supply water, soap and hand sanitizer.

The restrictions amount to the jungle equivalent of the isolation measures now in place for around half the world's population.

"Amazonas depends on rivers for more than 85 percent of the transport we survive on. Unfortunately, people here are now living a sad reality because of this crisis," says Alessandra Martins Pontes, a transportation planning expert at Amazonas Federal University. -- AFP

April 7, 2020

The Department of Science and Technology says it has accelerated its mass production of face shields to be distributed in various hospitals in the country.

Two of the department's research and development institutes and a research laboratory in a state university have devoted their resources in creating the face shields.

April 7, 2020

The US records 1,150 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, Johns Hopkins University says, pushing the country's toll further above the 10,000 mark reached earlier in the day.

According to Johns Hopkins' running tally, there are more than 366,000 cases of new coronavirus in the United States — including in excess of 30,000 new cases in 24 hours — with total deaths at 10,783.

The US has by far the most number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world. The number of deaths recorded since the start of the pandemic has for the past several days increased by at least 1,000 per day and is gradually approaching the number of deaths in Italy (16,523) and Spain (13,005). — AFP

April 7, 2020

The worldwide number of fatalities from the novel coronavirus rose to 73,139 on Monday, according to a tally compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT from official sources.

More than 1,310,930 declared cases have been registered in 191 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December. Of these cases, at least 249,700 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP offices from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

Many countries are only testing the most serious cases.

Since 1900 GMT Sunday, 5,005 new deaths and 66,187 new cases were recorded worldwide. The United States has the highest number of new deaths with 1,209, followed by France with 833 and Spain with 637. — AFP

April 6, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 50,000 people in Europe, mostly in Italy, Spain, France and Britain, according to an AFP tally using official figures at 0945 GMT on Monday.

With a total of 50,209 deaths, Europe is the continent with the most COVID-19 fatalities, out of 675,580 declared cases. Hardest-hit Italy has 15,877 deaths and Spain 13,055.

France has reported 8,078 fatalities while Britain has 4,934. — AFP

April 6, 2020

The Philippines records an additional 414 cases of the new coronavirus, raising the national total to 3,660.

The Department of Health also confirms 11 COVID-19 patients died in the country, bringing the national toll to 163.

Nine new patients recovered from the virus, which brings the total number of recoveries to 73.

April 6, 2020

More than 1,200 people have died of coronavirus complications in the United States in the past day, John Hopkins University says.

The Baltimore-based university, which has been keeping a running tally of global coronavirus numbers, says there are at least 337,072 confirmed infections in the US with 9,633 deaths. — AFP

April 6, 2020

US President Donald Trump on Sunday says he is "hopeful and sure" Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hospitalized for further coronavirus tests after testing positive, would recover from COVID-19.

"He is a friend of mine, he is a great gentleman, a great leader. He was brought to the hospital today but I am hopeful and sure that he is going to be fine," Trump says at his White House briefing.

"He is a strong man, a strong person." — AFP

April 4, 2020

The Department of Health reports 76 more local cases of the coronavirus disease 2019, bringing the official tally to 3,094 from the previous count of 3,018.

April 3, 2020

The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. assures the public that they will shoulder the full cost of treatment for all COVID-19 patients until April 14, 2020.

"The reason for this accommodation window is due to the novelty and the wide range of severity of the disease in the country for which no existing case rate or package based on accepted protocols has yet been established," it says in a statement.

Philhealth says they will issue a new set of guidelines after the final protocol is established.

April 3, 2020

The UN General Assembly has approved a resolution calling for "international cooperation" and "multilateralism" in the fight against COVID-19, in the first text to come out of the international body since the pandemic's outbreak.

The resolution, which was approved by consensus, also stresses "the need for full respect for human rights" and that "there is no place for any form of discrimination, racism and xenophobia in the response to the pandemic." — AFP

April 3, 2020

The cruise ship Zaandam, which has dozens of ill passengers on board and was not allowed to dock in several South American countries, arrivsd Thursday in port in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The liner was finally cleared for docking after long negotiations between Holland America Line, local and state officials, and the US Coast Guard, to ensure the safe disembarkation of the healthy — and the sick. — AFP

April 2, 2020

The Department of Health confirms 11 COVID-19 patients have died in the Philippines, raising the total number of fatalities to 107.

The Philippines also recorded 322 new coronavirus cases, bringing the national total to 2,633.

As of Thursday afternoon, one additional patient recovered from the deadly virus, bringing the total number of recoveries to 51.

April 2, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs through the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC and the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs has facilitated the repatriation of 900 Filipino seafarers of the Norwegian Dawn and Star, and MSC Armonia, Meraviglia, Seaside and Divina Cruise ships from Miami, Florida on Thursday morning.

All repatriated seafarers will undergo mandatory quarantine as precautionary measure before they go home. 

April 2, 2020

Globe Telecom's telemedicine, KonsultaMD, will be hosting free webinars on COVID-19, mental health and other health issues to help Filipinos staying at home amid the enhanced community quarantine.

The webinars will be aired via KonsultaMD’s Facebook account on April 3, 17 and 24 at 8 p.m. 

April 2, 2020

The coronavirus has killed 884 people over the past 24 hours in the US, a new one-day record for the country with by far the highest number of reported cases anywhere in the world, Johns Hopkins University said Wednesday evening.

That took the total death toll in America to 4,475.

The number of reported cases rose by 25,200 over the past 24 hours to 213,372, said the university's coronavirus tracker.

The grim record for deaths in one day is held by Italy with 969 on March 27. — AFP

April 2, 2020

The new coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 45,719 people worldwide since its appearance in December in China, according to a tally by AFP from official sources on Wednesday at 1900 GMT.

More than 905,580 cases of infection have been officially diagnosed in 187 countries and territories since the start of the epidemic. 

The number of detected cases, however, only reflects a fraction of the actual number of infections, with many countries now testing only those cases requiring hospital care. 

Since a tally made on Tuesday, 4,708 new deaths and 77,241 new cases have been recorded worldwide. — AFP

April 2, 2020

President Donald Trump says that US authorities will evacuate passengers from a stranded cruise ship due to dock in Florida after being barred from several South American countries because of a coronavirus outbreak aboard.

Trump said the US was "sending medical teams on board the ship" and taking people off, with foreigners being sent home.

"We're taking the Canadians off and giving them to Canadian authorities," he said. "Same thing with the UK." — AFP

April 1, 2020

Authorities say the coronavirus death toll in Spain surged over 9,000 on Wednesday after a record 864 deaths in 24 hours, with the number of confirmed cases passing the 100,000 mark.

Spain has the world's second-highest death toll after Italy, with the virus so far claiming 9,053 lives and the number of confirmed cases reaching 102,136. — AFP

April 1, 2020

GCash, the leading mobile wallet in the Philippines, has facilitated over P18.14 million in donations to support frontliners amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The funds were used to purchase protective gears for health workers and relief goods for the families affected by the enhanced community lockdown. 

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the Filipino GCash users. We know very well that everyone is affected by the pandemic, and we at GCash are happy to see that our platform is being maximized during these trying times,” GCash Chief Technology and Operations Officer Pebbles Sy-Manalang says.

April 1, 2020

The Department of Health confirms 227 new COVID-19 cases, which raises the national total to 2,311.

The country also registered eight new fatalities, bringing the national death toll to 96.

The DOH also announced the recovery of one patient, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 50.

April 1, 2020

The Department of Labor and Employment allows employers to defer payment of holiday pay of workers for Holy Week in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a memo released Wednesday, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III says holiday pay from April 9 to 11 may be deferred "until such time that the present emergency situation has been abated and the normal operations of the establishment is in place.

Establishments that totally closed or stopped operation during the enhanced community quarantine period will also be exempted from payment of holiday pay.

April 1, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Embassy in the US, in coordination with other government agencies, repatriated a total of 881 Filipino seafarers from the United States.

The group of repatriates — 445 seafarers from Norwegian Cruises Dawn and Encore, and another 436 from MV Magica and MV Favolosa — arrived in the country early Wednesday.

The repatriates will undergo a 14-day quarantine monitored by the Bureau of Quarantine.

April 1, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic killed a record 865 people in the United States in the 24 hours until Tuesday evening, according to a tally compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The US death toll rose from 3,008 at 8:30pm EST on Monday to 3,873 at 8.30pm EST on Tuesday.

The United States now has 188,172 confirmed cases, by far the highest of any country, ahead of Italy, Spain and China. — AFP

April 1, 2020

The number of deaths in the United States from coronavirus has surpassed those reported by China, where the pandemic began in December, according to a toll published on Tuesday by Johns Hopkins University.

There have been 3,415 deaths in the US from the virus, the Baltimore-based university said, more than the 3,309 reported officially in China. — AFP

March 31, 2020

Former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. tested positive for COVID-19, his spokesman lawyer Vic Rodriguez confirms.

According to Rodriguez, Marcos' results from RITM were released on March 28.

"Gumaganda na ang kondisyong pangkalusugan ni dating Sen. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. makaraang ihayag sa resulta ng clinical test na isinagawa ng Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) na siya’y positibo sa CoVid19," Rodriguez said.

March 31, 2020

The Department of Health confirms 538 new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, bringing the national tally to 2,084.

The health department also reported that an additional 10 COVID-19 patients died in the country, raising the number of deceased to 88.

Seven new recoveries have been recoded, bringing the total number of recoveries to 49.

March 31, 2020

President Donald Trump saysthat the United States will send medical equipment for combating the coronavirus pandemic to Italy and later France and Spain.

Trump, speaking at his daily briefing, went into few specifics about the type of aid or the timing, but said a large quantity was destined for Italy, which has the world's highest pandemic death toll.

"We're going to be sending approximately $100 million worth of, of things, of surgical and medical and hospital things to Italy," he says, adding that Italy's prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, was "very, very happy I will tell you that." — AFP

March 31, 2020

The US death toll from the coronavirus pandemic passes 3,000, according to the running tally compiled by the Johns Hopkins University, with more than 163,000 confirmed cases.

The United States has recorded 3,008 deaths, according to the tally, while its 163,429 cases are by far the highest national number ahead of Italy, Spain and China. — AFP

March 31, 2020

Italy will extend its lockdown at least until April 12 to help curb novel coronavirus infections that have already claimed 11,591 lives, the health minister says.

A meeting of the government's scientific committee recommended extending all containment measures at least until Easter Sunday, April 12, Roberto Speranza said in a statement. — AFP

March 31, 2020

More than 35,000 people have died worldwide from the coronavirus pandemic since it emerged late last year in China, most of them in Europe, according to an AFP tally at 1615 GMT Monday using official figures.

In total, 35,905 people have died, including 26,076 in Europe. Italy has the most deaths with 11,591, following by Spain with 7,340 and China with 3,304.

More than 740,00 cases have been officially detected in 183 countries and territories, including at least 408,203 in Europe, almost 150,000 in the United States and Canada with 2,635 deaths and 106,609 cases in Asia with 3,827 deaths.

Detected cases likely reflect only a fraction of the real number of infections as many countries are only testing the most serious cases. — AFP

March 30, 2020

Indian authorities struggled Monday to help millions left jobless by a crippling coronavirus lockdown, potentially undermining efforts to stop the virus ravaging the world's second most-populous nation.

Since the lockdown began on Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of labourers have been heading back from cities where they worked to their home villages, some walking hundreds of miles and with little money or food.

The exodus has raised worries that those returning may spread coronavirus into rural areas, particularly with authorities resorting to cramming people onto buses and into relief camps and homeless shelters. — AFP

March 30, 2020

China Ambassador Huang Xilian: Chinese medical expert team will come to the Philippines to assist fighting COVID-19

On 30 March 2020, Ambassador Huang Xilian had a phone call with Secretary Francisco Duque III of Department of Health (DOH). 

Both sides exchanged views on the cooperation between China and the Philippines in fighting against COVID-19. 

Ambassador Huang informed that the Chinese government will dispatch the Chinese medical expert team to the Philippines upon the request of Philippine government. 

The main task of the medical expert team is to help the Philippines fight against COVID-19, by providing technical advice on epidemic prevention and control as well as sharing medical treatment experience. 

Ambassador Huang also appreciated the active role that Secretary Duque and DOH had played in the course of preparation and assured Secretary Duque that the Embassy will continue to work closely with DOH to facilitate relevant arrangements of the medical expert team. 

Secretary Duque expressed his appreciation and gratitude for China’s support to the Philippines in battling the epidemic and looked forward to the arrival of the Chinese medical expert team.

He also pledged that DOH would actively further coordinate with the Embassy to make sure the work of the medical expert team goes smoothly.

March 30, 2020

China will send a medical team to the Philippines to help in its fight against the new coronavirus.

Philippine Ambassador to China Chito Sto. Romana confirmed that Beijing is readying a medical team to help the country.

"The medical team... they are underway to go to the Philippines shortly and there is continuous airlift of medical supplies from China," Sto. Romana said at the Laging Handa briefing via phone patch.

March 30, 2020

Locally-developed test kits for COVID-19 will be available starting April 4, the Department of Science and Technology says.

The DOST will manufacture 1,300 test kits good for 26,000 tests which will be distributed to the Philippine General Hospital, Makati Medical Center, The Medical City, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Southern Philippines Medical Center, and Baguio General Hospital.

Manila HealthTek, meanwhile, will manufacture and sell test kits good for 94,000 tests that will be sold at around P1,300 per kit.

March 30, 2020

The Department of Health denounces reports of health workers around the country being attacked physically and being refused access to basic services, blocked and fined at checkpoints and evicted from their homes.

"These acts cannot be tolerated," the DOH said in a statement released Sunday night.

The health department said it is mobilizing its own team to get more details and hold perpetrators of attacks against health workers liable. They will also report the incidents to the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 for proper investigation and resolution.

March 29, 2020

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III says test kits donated by the Chinese government are actually accurate.

In a transcript of a text message sent by the embassy and since confirmed by Duque, the health secretary said:

"Hi! There is nothing wrong with the REAL TIME-POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION machine which is used for generating positive or negative result as the case may be!

Again your Test Kits BGI and SANSURE BIOTECHNOLOGY are very good and up to the standards as those which were donated by WHO and approved by our RITM. AGAIN OUR GRATITUDE AND APPRECIATION TO YOU AND THE CHINESE Government."

The Department of Health has also issued an apology and clarification on the issue.

 

March 29, 2020

US President Donald Trump decided late Saturday against imposing a broad two-week lockdown on New York and its neighbors after a strong pushback from local political leaders and warnings of the panic it could spark.

"A quarantine will not be necessary," Trump tweeted, some eight hours after he stunned the New York metropolitan region, the epicenter of the US coronavirus outbreak, with a proposal to place it under quarantine to prevent residents from leaving.

Trump had indicated earlier he was responding to worries in other states, particularly Florida, that travelers from the greater New York city area could spread COVID-19 in their communities.

He told reporters that "heavily infected" New Yorkers were a threat to Florida, a popular southern holiday destination for people in the northeast. ?— AFP

March 28, 2020

Iran announces that 139 more people had died from the novel coronavirus, raising the official death toll to 2,517 in one of the world's worst-affected countries.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour says in a press conference that 3,076 more cases had been confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 35,408. — AFP

March 28, 2020

Actress Iza Calzado tested positive for the coronavirus disease, her manager says.

March 28, 2020

Toyota Makati Inc. announces that a team member tested positive for COVID-19.

"The safety and security of our employees, customers, and all of our stakeholders, is paramount to us. Keeping this in mind, and under the guidance and support of the relevant national and local authorities, we are taking immediate and comprehensive actions necessary, including disinfection of the dealership, to prevent any spread of the virus," the company says.

"Furthermore, all employees who have had close contact with the infected member have been quarantined," it adds.

March 28, 2020

The United States now has more than 100,000 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University shows.

There have been 100,717 cases including 1,544 deaths as of 6:00 pm Eastern time (2200 GMT).

The biggest cluster by far is in New York, home to almost half the cases, overwhelming the hospital system. — AFP 

March 28, 2020

Manila Development Authority General Manager Jojo Garcia has tested positive for the coronavirus disease.

“I wish to inform everyone that I will have to work from home as I have been found positive for COVID-19,” Garcia says in a statement.

“I embrace this challenge with full trust and faith in God that I will overcome the same with your prayers,” he adds.

March 27, 2020

Research Institute for Tropical Medicine apologizes to ACT-CIS Partylist Rep. Eric Go Yap for "forwarding a report of his COVID-19 results that displayed a clerical oversight."

The institute says the lawmaker remains negative of the fatal disease.

March 27, 2020

A labor group says the P500 daily pay for health volunteers of the Department of Health an "insult" to frontliners of COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are enraged to know that DOH, as a government agency, violates our own labor policies as it does not comply to the minimum wage requirement mandated by law," says Thadeus Ifurung, spokesperson of Defend Jobs Philippines spokesperson.

"Providing healthcare workers with personal protective equipments will never be enough to say that the DOH is concerned with the health and safety of our frontliners as benefits such as the hazard pay will not be given to its so-called ‘warriors and heroes',” he adds.

March 27, 2020

The Philippines registers 96 new cases of the new coronavirus, bringing the national total to 803.

The Department of Health also announces nine additional deaths, bringing the national toll to 54. Three patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 31. 

March 27, 2020

The National Kidney and Transplant Institute says they will only accept kidney patients under investigation who are dependent on dialysis. 

The patients will be managed in tents situated around the emergency room. 

"They are not admitted inside our main facilities to protect our immunocompromised patients especially our post-transplantations," the institute says in a statement.

March 27, 2020

The Department of Health receives the first batch of donation by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation.

The shipment is part of the donation of both foundations to four Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. The four countries will receive a combined total of 2 million face masks, testing kits for 150,000 people, 20,000 protective suits and 20,000 face shields.

March 27, 2020

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

March 27, 2020

Venezuela reports its first coronavirus death after a 47-year-old man with a pre-existing lung disease died.

The man from the northern Aragua state had previously suffered from an "occupational disease in the lungs," Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez says in a television address.

The patient had been admitted to a private clinic suffering from pneumonia and three days later tested positive for COVID-19, Rodriguez says. ?— AFP

March 27, 2020

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is blocking a joint response that EU leaders are trying to put together to the coronavirus crisis, an Italian government source said Thursday.

Conte told other European leaders that Italy wanted the EU to apply "innovative financial instruments truly adapted to a war," the AGI news agency reported, confirming the prime minister was blocking the draft response being discussed at the videoconference. — AFP

March 27, 2020

The Democratic Republic of Congo capital Kinshasa will go into "total confinement" for four days from Saturday to help contain the spread of coronavirus, authorities say.

Governor Gentiny Ngobila decrees intermittent four-day confinements over three weeks, according to a speech seen by AFP. The city will be on lockdown for four days followed by two days to allow residents to shop followed by another four-day lockdown, in a rotation continued for the three-week period. — AFP

March 27, 2020

There are more than half a million declared cases of coronavirus worldwide, according to an AFP tally Thursday at 1920 GMT. 

At least 501,556 infections have been recorded across 182 countries, including 22,920 deaths, according to an AFP calculation based on official country data and World Health Organization figures.

The number of actual infections is believed to be higher since many countries are only testing severe cases or patients requiring hospitalisation. — AFP

March 27, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 15,000 people in Europe, according to an AFP tally at 1720 GMT on Thursday.

A total of 15,500 fatalities have been reported across Europe, most of them in Italy (8,165) and Spain (4,089), followed by France with 1,331. With  268,191 officially declared cases of infection, Europe is the continent worst hit by the virus that first emerged in China in December. — AFP

March 26, 2020

The Philippines' latest count of novel coronavirus infections rose to 707, the Department of Health says.

March 26, 2020

Senate Secretary Myra Marie Villarica confirms that a staff of Sen. Pia Cayetano tested positive for COVID-19.

"The patient has no recent travel history. Her infection was traced to a person close to her family," Villarica says in a statement.

March 26, 2020

Sen. Sonny Angara announces that he tested positive for COVID-19.

"I have been feeling some symptoms like mild fever, cough, headaches and general weakness . I have not been in contact with the public since taking the test last March 16," Angara says in a statement.

"I ask for your prayers that together we are able to pull through this tremendous challenge," he adds.

March 26, 2020

Sen. Imee Marcos confirms her brother former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. took a test for the coronavirus two nights ago.

According to Imee, her younger brother Bongbong came back from Spain "unwell" and is now "getting better at home." 

The defeated vice presidential bet has yet to receive the result of his test.

March 26, 2020

More than 450,000 cases of new coronavirus have been officially reported worldwide since the start of the pandemic, according to a tally by AFP from official sources at 20:15 GMT on Wednesday.

At least 450,876 cases of infection, including 20,647 deaths, have been reported in 182 countries and territories, in particular in China with 81,218 cases, of which 3,821 were fatal, and in Italy with 74,386 cases, the country hardest hit by fatalities with 7,503 deaths. — AFP

March 25, 2020

ACT-CIS Party list Rep. Eric Go Yap, who chairs the House committee on games and amusements, says he tested positive for COVID-19.

He attended the special session of the House of Representatives on March 23.

"Humihingi ako ng patawad at pag-unawa mula sa mga taong nakasalamuha ko. I was paranoid dahil may kaunting ubo akong naramdaman but I felt it was normal for me. Mas nag-ingat tayo dahil wala pang resulta ang test ko. Those who know me personally know that I practice good personal hygiene. But it didn’t spare me from this virus," Yap says in a statement.

March 25, 2020

The Big 4 universities, which include De La Salle University-Manila, Ateneo de Manila University, University of the Philippines - Diliman and the University of Santo Tomas request to the Commission on Higher Education for the suspension of online classes in higher educational institutions nationwide amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also ask for the "distribution of online materials for self-learning, and the granting of leniency towards the adjustment of the academic calendar."

 

 

March 25, 2020

The Department of Health confirms 84 new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, bringing the national total to 636.

The Health department also confirms three more COVID-19 patients have died, bringing the total number of deceased in the country to 38. 

Meanwhile, six patients have recovered, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 26.

March 25, 2020

Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III confirms that he tested positive for the new coronavirus.

In a statement released Wednesday, Pimentel said the swab was taken last Friday and he was informed Tuesday night of his test result.

"I have quarantined myself upon the doctor’s advice and consistent with the protocol. I feel I am, with God’s help, on the way to recovery," Pimentel said.

March 25, 2020

The coronavirus has killed another 240 people in France, the top French health official said on Tuesday, bringing the death toll in the country from the pandemic to 1,100.

Jerome Salomon told reporters that 22,300 people had tested positive for the virus in France, with a total of 10,176 hospitalised of whom 2,516 people are in intensive care. 

Officials believe that the published number of those infected largely underestimates the real figure, as only those showing severe symptoms are usually tested. — AFP

March 25, 2020

Cameroon's government  announces the country's first death due to coronavirus, saying the victim had returned from Italy and was already infected on his arrival.

"Unfortunately we have registered our first death due to COVID-19," Health Minister Malachie Manaouda said on Twitter.

The official count of coronavirus cases in the Central African nation has risen to 66. But the figures are restricted by the limited laboratory capacity for testing. — AFP

March 24, 2020

The local inter-agency task force announces Tuesday night the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Zamboanga City

Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, chair of the local task force, says in an emergency press briefing that the first confirmed case is a 29-year-old man.

"With sadness we have already a first confirmed case as of 8 p.m. tonight," Salazar says.

Dr. Emila Monicimpo, of the regional Department of Health office, says the patient had traveled to Manila and returned to the city on the first commercial flight on March 13.

Monicimpo says the patient sought consultation on March 15 at a private hospital and was found to have symptoms of COVID-19.

She says that, based on the triaging and protocol, a swab sample was immediately taken from the patient and sent to the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa on March 17 along with the 14 other samples.

City Health Officer Dulce Amor Miravite says the patient is included in the 31 persons under investigation (PUIs) in the city.

The COVID-19 case is an outpatient and has been under home quarantine and under tight surveillance by health personnel.

"His condition is improving and his family members who were considered as persons under monitoring and are not showing symptoms," Miravite says

“Just tonight we received the results and the 14 case turned negative but the 15th case is positive who is a 29-year old male patient,” Monicimpo said. — The STAR/Roel Pareño

March 24, 2020

The number of deaths around the world from the novel coronavirus cases stood at 16,961, according to a tally compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT Tuesday from official sources.

More than 386,350 declared cases have been registered in 175 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP offices from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization, likely reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

March 24, 2020

The Makati Medical Center announces that they have reached their full capacity.

"After a thorough review of our bed capacity [particularly the Critical Care units], workforce availability, and supply of vital infection prevention equipment, and in consultation with our respective medical teams and the Management, we regret to inform you that Makati Medical Center has now reached its full capacity," its statement reads.

The hospital says they can no longer extend the same degree of care for additional admission of COVID-19 cases.

March 24, 2020

St. Luke's Medical Center announces that its branches in Quezon City and Bonifacio Global City are no longer capable of accepting COVID-19 patients for confinement.

"Both hospitals have already exceeded maximum capacity and admitting more COVID-19 patients will seriously impact our ability to deliver the critical level of care and attention patients need at this time," the statement reads.

March 24, 2020

Physicians are watching over some of the almost 200 deportees from Malaysia confined in a quarantine facility in Basilan and tagged either as persons under investigation, or under monitoring.

Reports that reached Tuesday the capitol in Cotabato City of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao stated that the provincial government of Basilan, the Western Mindanao Command and the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region are now cooperating in providing the deportees health care.

The deportees were on a boat that failed to dock in Zamboanga City last week due to the coronavirus quarantine lockdown there. — The STAR/John Unson

March 24, 2020

The Philippine Heart Association (PHA) confirms that another cardiologist died due to the novel coronavirus disease.

Dr. Raul Diaz Jara, former PHA president, passed away early Tuesday fighting the contagion. He was a doctor at the Philippine Heart Center.

"He was a great father, teacher, mentor, poet, author, singer, colleague, friend. One who has spent his life teaching. One who never got tired to impart knowledge and wisdom. One who made you sweat as he bombards you with questions but would suddenly make you feel at ease as he breaks into a smile," the PHA said in a Facebook post.

March 24, 2020

The Philippines records an additional 39 cases of COVID-19, bringing the country's total of confirmed cases to 501.

In an interview with radio dzBB, DOH Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said 33 patients have died due to the virus while 19 have recovered.

March 24, 2020

Cuba will quarantine foreign tourists from Tuesday to guard against the spread of the new coronavirus, the communist country's Prime Minister Manuel Marrero said Monday.

"All tourists still in hotels will be placed in quarantine... They cannot leave the hotel" until they find a flight home, he said on state TV, adding that there were 32,500 holidaymakers from overseas on the Caribbean island on Monday. — AFP

March 24, 2020

The West African states of Senegal and Ivory Coast each declare a state of emergency in the face of the new coronavirus pandemic. 

Senegal will impose a dusk-to-dawn curfew, while Ivory Coast says it would introduce gradual confinement measures. "The speed of the progress of the disease requires us to raise the level of the response," Senegalese President Macky Sall says in a televised address to the nation. — AFP

March 24, 2020

South Africa's president says he is deploying the military onto the streets to help police enforce a three-week nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus after infections rose six-fold in just eight days.

"I have accordingly directed the South African National Defence Force be deployed to support the South African Police Service in ensuring that the measures we are announcing are implemented," Cyril Ramaphosa says in an address to the nation. — AFP

March 24, 2020

The Senate has likewise passed House Bill 6616, granting President Duterte 26 special powers to deal with the COVID-19 crisis in the country. The measure has been approved on second reading.

March 23, 2020
Voting 284-9-0 on the third and final reading, Congress has approved HB 6616, granting President Duterte emergency powers to deal with the COVID-19 crisis in the country.
March 23, 2020

Megaworld Corp. announced it is deploying Citylink buses to help ferry healthcare personnel during the enchanced community quarantine when public transportation is shut down.

In a statement on Monday, the company said it is partnering with the Department of Transportation to send out busesto and from Pasig City General Hospital and Makati Medical Center. The daily routes will be operational from 4:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the quarantine period until April 12.

"In every route, wwe can transport around 120 healthcare frontliners to two hospitals assigned to us," said Arnie Batac, head of Megaworld's estate management.

March 23, 2020

The United Arab Emirates announces it will suspend all passenger and transit flights for two weeks amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. 

The Emirati authorities "have decided to suspend all inbound and outbound passenger flights and the transit of airline passengers in the UAE for two weeks as part of the precautionary measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19", reports the official state news agency, WAM.

It adds that the decision will take effect in 48 hours. — AFP

March 23, 2020

The Czech Republic registers its first coronavirus victim on Sunday, a 95-year-old man with other health problems, Health Minister Adam Vojtech says in a tweet.

"The first coronavirus-positive patient has died in the Czech Republic," Vojtech writes.

"The 95-year-old man was hospitalised on March 18 when he tested positive for the infection. He suffered from other health problems too," Vojtech adds. — AFP

March 23, 2020

Dubai carrier Emirates reversed on Sunday its decision to suspend all passenger flights shortly after it said it would halt operations from March 25 amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The airline said it "received requests from governments and customers to support the repatriation of travellers" and will continue to operate passenger flights to 13 destinations, down from its usual 159.

The announcement was made just hours after a previous statement said the carrier "will have temporarily suspended all its passenger operations" by March 25. — AFP

March 23, 2020

The novel coronavirus epidemic has claimed more than 100 lives in the past 24 hours in the United States, bringing the total to 389 deaths as of Sunday, according to an authoritative tally from Johns Hopkins University.

The states of New York (114 deaths), Washington (94 deaths) and California (28 deaths) have been the hardest hit by far. The virus has infected at least 30,000 people nationwide. — AFP

March 23, 2020

The International Olympic Committee is considering postponing the 2020 Olympics as one its options as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, a source close to the IOC told AFP on Sunday.

The IOC has faced strong pressure to push back this summer's Tokyo Games in the last few days from sporting federations and athletes worried about the health risk as the COVID-19 death tally continues to rise. — AFP

March 22, 2020

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. says Singapore will donate 3,000 COVID-19 testing kits and a PCR machine (thermal cycler) to the Philippines to help fight the outbreak. 

"Singapore is DONATING 3,000 COVID test kits and one PCR machine. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Memoing the President about this right now. I'm a bit tired," says Locsin in a Twitter post.

March 22, 2020

Sen. Leila de Lima seeks for immediate passage of a measure granting compensation and incentives to health workers who are at most risk during public health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With all the undeniably heroic roles and myriad responsibilities that BHWs [barangay health officials] play in our health sector, especially during a public health crisis that is gripping our country today, it is only right and important that we also take care of them by providing them just compensation and incentives they deserve,” the opposition senator says.

March 22, 2020

COVID-19 cases in the Philippines is now at 380. 

The Department of Health reports an additional 73 cases by Saturday evening, March 21. 

March 22, 2020

The number of novel coronavirus cases globally stood at 291,420 with 12,725 deaths, across 165 countries and territories at 1900 GMT Saturday, according to a tally compiled by AFP from official sources.

Since 1900 GMT on Friday, there were 1,598 new deaths reported and 32,485 new cases globally.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP offices from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization, likely reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

March 21, 2020

The Basilan COVID-19 Task Force will place the entire island under total lockdown, starting Wednesday (March 25) after the number of cases of persons under investigation (PUI) increased to 19, an official says.

Basilan Gov. Hajimin Saliman-Hataman says reports from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office and Provincial Health Office showed at least 1,063 persons have been placed under persons under monitoring.

The local government of Isabela City has already enforced the quarantine five days ahead the implementation of total lockdown. — The STAR/Roel Pareño

March 21, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration has approved eight COVID-19 test products for commercial use, The STAR's Sheila Crisostomo reports

March 21, 2020

The Department of Public Works and Highways has 110 evacuation centers across the country that can be used as health facilities as country grapples with a novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), it says in a release.

With a 12-square meter allocation per patient as recommended by the Department of Health, the 110 evacuation centers can potentially accomodate 4,620 patients, DPWH also says.

An evacuation center in Butuan City has already been converted into a healthy facility while another in Fairview, Quezon City is being used as an operations center by the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office in the National Capital Region.

Centers in Mexico and Lubao in Pampanga as well as in Botolan, Zambales and in Talavera, Nueva Ecija are being eyed for conversion as well.

March 21, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs reports the first Filipino who tested positive for COVID-19 in South Korea.

"The South Korean Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that a Filipino has tested positive for Covid-19. This is the first confirmed case of Covid-19 infection involving a Filipino in South Korea," tweeted Brigido Dulay, Foreign Affairs undersecretary for civilian security and consular concerns.

There are 8,652 total cases in the East Asian country, where cases have drastically dropped after authorities and health practitioners tested more than 270,000 people.

March 20, 2020

The LoveYourself Inc., a community-based non-profit primary health care facility for people living with HIV, asks the help of the government to ensure smooth delivery of anti-retroviral (ARVs) drugs.

The organization says they understand the government's measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) but stressed the need for continued delivery of their services to address "another kind if pandemic, which is HIV."

March 20, 2020

The Philippines records an additional 13 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number to 230.

The Department of Health also reports one new death in the country, bringing total fatalities to 18.

March 20, 2020

The Office of Vice President Leni Robredo provides assistance to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, which include extraction kits needed to conduct testing for COVID-19 and personal protective equipment for frontliners. 

A budget of P5.3 million was alloted for the kits, which may be used in the process of conducting a total of 12,750 tests. 

March 20, 2020

Rio de Janeiro to close beaches, restaurants over coronavirus.

March 19, 2020

Tokyo Olympic organizers are facing increased scrutiny over their unwillingness to either postpone or cancel the summer Games in response to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world.

As a multitude of sporting events worldwide are scrubbed from the calendar, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been accused of shying away from what would be a huge decision on the staging of the four-yearly event. — AFP

March 19, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 9,000 people across the globe, according to an AFP tally Thursday based on official sources.

A total of 9,020 deaths were recorded as of 1100 GMT, with 4,134 in Europe and and 3,416 in Asia, where the outbreak first emerged in China in December.

With 712 more deaths reported in the past 24 hours and a total of 90,293 cases, Europe is now the region where COVID-19 is spreading the most rapidly. — AFP

March 19, 2020

Germany has recorded 10,999 cases of the coronavirus, official data show, with the number of new reported infections rising by 2,801 in a single day.

Twenty people have died from the viral infection, data from the disease control agency Robert Koch Institute show. North Rhine-Westphalia remains the worst-hit state, with 3,033 COVID-19 cases, up 661 from a day ago. — AFP

March 19, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration says it has released a list of approved COVID-19 test kits for commercial use. 

"There are still pending applications that are due for evaluation. The list shall be regularly updated,” says Director General Eric Domingo in a statement.

March 19, 2020

China reports no new domestic cases of the coronavirus for the first time since it started recording them in January, but recorded a spike in infections imported from abroad.

There were 34 cases that were brought in from abroad, the biggest daily increase in two weeks, according to the National Health Commission. — AFP

March 19, 2020

Turkey reports its second coronavirus fatality, the Turkish health minister says, as the number of confirmed cases rose to 191.

"A 61-year-old male patient has died," Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter, but giving no further details.

The confirmation of a second death comes after Koca said on Tuesday that an 89-year-old man was the first fatality in Turkey.

"The tests concluded today show the importance of following the measures which have been taken so far," he said. — AFP

March 19, 2020

A massive coronavirus prayer session with tens of thousands of devotees sparked an outcry in Bangladesh Wednesday as the South Asian nation reported its first death from the global pandemic.

Local police chief Tota Miah said some 10,000 Muslims gathered in an open field in Raipur town in southern Bangladesh to pray "healing verses" from the Koran to rid the country of the deadly virus.

"They held the Khatme Shifa prayers after dawn to free the country from the coronavirus," Miah told AFP.

Organisers claimed the number of worshippers was 25,000. — AFP

March 19, 2020

The number of novel coronavirus cases globally stood at 209,500 with 8,784 deaths, across 150 countries and territories at 1830 GMT Wednesday, according to a tally compiled by AFP from official sources.

Since 1700 GMT on Tuesday there were 948 new deaths reported and 18,313 new cases globally.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP offices from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), take into account the fact that criteria for counting victims and coronavirus screening practices vary from country to country.

The countries with the most new deaths since Tuesday at 1700 are Italy (475), Iran (147) and Spain (107).  — AFP

March 19, 2020

The public health ministry says Cuba recorded its first death from the new coronavirus when a 61-year-old Italian tourist died as the island nation's confirmed cases rose to 10.

The tourist entered Cuba, which unlike many countries in Latin America has not closed its borders, on March 9 and had been in a critical condition since Sunday night. — AFP

March 18, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte declares unilateral ceasefire with communist rebels from March 19 to April 15 as the government tries to contain the spread of COVID-19.

March 18, 2020

Jollibee Foods Corp. will donate P100 million worth of food products from its brands to health workers and on-ground checkpoint personnel amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

March 18, 2020

The Department of Health confirms 15 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the tally to 202. Deaths now at 17 while recoveries at 7.

March 18, 2020

Another tycoon has come out to help on the country's effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).

Alliance Global Group's Andrew Tan announced on Wednesday his holding firm is donating one million liters of 70% disinfectant ethyl alcohol to the Department of Health.

"We hope to distribute disinfectant alcohol to as many, if not, all the hospitals and clinics that are treating COVID-19 patients all over the country," Tan said in a statement. 

"We are one with the nation in this fight to heal our country from COVID-19," he added.

March 18, 2020

The Department of Health confirms six new COVD-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases in the Philippines to 193.

Fatalities stay at 14 while recovered cases are at seven.

March 18, 2020

The Gambia has recorded its first case of coronavirus, the country's health minister said on Tuesday, after the government also announced measures to contain its spread. 

In a televised statement, Health Minister Ahmadou Lamin Samateh said officials in the tiny West African state had confirmed an infection in a young woman who had recently travelled from the United Kingdom. — AFP

March 18, 2020

A hundred people have died from the new coronavirus in the United States, according to an AFP count on Tuesday using figures provided by state and county websites and officials. 

The greatest number is in Washington state, in the country's northwest, where there were 50 deaths, followed by New York with 12 and California where there were 11. — AFP

March 17, 2020

Two more COVID-19 patients died on Tuesday, according to a Department of Health announcement shared by the Philippine Red Cross.

The two deaths brings the number of COVID-19 fatalities in the country to 14.

PH126, a 76-year-old Filipino male, dies after "experiencing Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and severe pneumonia," the DOH statement read.

Aside from COVID-19, the patient had Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertensive Cardiovascular Disease.

PH129, a 67-year-old Filipino male, died after "experiencing ARDS secondary to COVID-19 as well as community-acquired pneumonia."

PH129 was a known hypertensive, DOH also said. 

March 17, 2020

Veteran actor Christopher de Leon admits that he tested positive for COVID-19.

He says he did not recently travel to countries with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

"However, due to the nature of my work in the entertainment business, I have interacted with many people. I therefore ask anyone who has come  in contact me within the last week or two to observe stringent self-quarantine, observe for symptoms and follow the triage procedures published by the DOH, whether asymptomatic or not," he says in a statement.

"Please cooperate with the authorities in their contact tracing efforts.  My wife Sandy, daughter Mica & our kasambahay are in self quarantine at home," he adds.

March 17, 2020

AirAsia says it is canceling all domestic flights to/from Ninoy Aquino International Airport until 14 April.

"Domestic flights to/from the Clark International Airport will be cancelled starting 20 March until 14 April," the airline company says.

"International flights to/from both said airports will also be cancelled starting 20 March until 14 April," it adds.

March 17, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte declares a state of calamity thoughout the Philippines due to COVID-19 outbreak.

March 17, 2020

The Department of Health reports 45 new confirmed cases as of midday on Tuesday, bringing the total to 187.

Patient 25 from Negros Oriental, meanwhile, has recovered from the disease. He is a 31-year-old Filipino male who earlier reported to be asymptomatic. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 10 after repatriation from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship. (View our live updates here.)

 

March 17, 2020

BDO confirms that an employee of one of its branches in San Juan City tested positive for COVID-19.

The bank says it is closely monitoring the patient's situation and ensuring the well-being of its employees, customers and suppliers.

March 17, 2020

The Office of Vice President Leni Robredo has begun to distribute personal protective equipment sets to hospitals in Metro Manila to help frontliners in the fight against COVID-19.

The PPE sets were distributed to the following hospitals:

  • San Lazaro Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila
  • Philippine General Hospital in Ermita, Manila
  • University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health, in Ermita, Manila
March 17, 2020

China reports just one new domestic coronavirus infection but found 20 more cases imported from abroad, threatening to spoil its progress against the disease.

The single case in Wuhan will boost China's view that it has "basically curbed" the spread of a disease that is believed to have emerged in a live animal market in the central city in December.

Wuhan and its 11 million people were placed under strict quarantine on January 23, with the rest of Hubei province going under lockdown in the following days. — AFP

March 17, 2020

Ukraine announces shutdowns of public transport, bars, restaurants and shopping malls to stem the spread of the coronavirus after President Volodymyr Zelensky promised to act "harshly, urgently, perhaps unpopularly".

The government supported Zelensky's proposals and introduced restrictions on domestic movement, including full closure of the country's three metro systems — in Kiev, Kharkiv and Dnipro — until April 3.

The government also banned mass events with more than ten people participating. — AFP

March 17, 2020

Chile and Peru announces a total closure of their borders on Monday while Latin America's largest airline said it was reducing operations by 70 percent as the region scrambled to stem the rapidly-spreading coronavirus pandemic.

Latin America has registered more than 800 cases and seven deaths, according to an AFP count, after the Dominican Republic became the latest nation to report a fatality.

"We've decided to close all our country's terrestrial, maritime and aerial borders for the transit of foreigners," said Chile's President Sebastian Pinera.

The announcement came as Chile revealed on Monday its number of coronavirus cases had more than doubled since Sunday to 155.

Peru followed suit soon afterwards with President Martin Vizcarra announcing a two-week measure "today, from midnight."

It's part of the state of emergency declared late on Sunday but like Chile, cargo will not be affected by the border closures. — AFP

March 17, 2020

Puerto Rico was under 24-hour isolation Monday, governor Wanda Vazquez told local media, leaving the island the first major US jurisdiction to take such drastic measures against the coronavirus pandemic.

"All citizens should stay in their homes 24/7 until March 30," Vazquez told WKAQ 580 AM radio.

The comments came a day after she announced by video message a 9:00 pm to 5:00 am curfew, and the different directives left some residents confused about whether or not they could go out in the daytime. — AFP

March 17, 2020

The Russian government says it would close all its borders to foreign citizens this week except permanent residents because of the coronavirus.

The measure was announced in a statement Monday from Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. 

He said the measure, due to come into effect at midnight (2100 GMT Tuesday) and run until May 1, was aimed at protecting public health in Russia, which has so far recorded 93 cases of the disease. — AFP

March 16, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri has tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), he says on his Facebook account.

"I had a test taken last Friday while on self-quarantine and this afternoon I received a call from [Health Secretary Francisco] Duque on my condition. My heart sank with what he had said, but I'm uplifted with the fact that I am asymptomatic and have no fever or cough nor am I weak or have any headaches," he also says.

"As one of those very early on in the Senate who espoused and advocated for stronger government response on controlling COVID-19, I was very careful in my dealings with people at work in the Senate," he says.

"I practiced social distancing as well as a no-handshake policy but yet I got contaminated. How, I do not know," he also says.

View quicker, more complete updates here.

March 16, 2020

The City Government of Muntinlupa announces that the city is now under a state of calamity.

In its official Twitter account, Muntinlupa City announced this latest development to enable the local government to access quick response fund amid the COVID-19 emergency situation.

March 16, 2020

At least 2,000 fast test kits for the novel coronavirus from China arrives in Manila. Chinese Embassy in the Philippines and the China Mammoth Foundation donated the test kits.

According to the Chinese Embassy, Beijing is getting ready to provide more test kits, which can issue results in three hours, in the coming days.

These kits have also been exported to more than 50 countries, including Japan, Thailand, Brunei, Egypt, Peru and UAE.

"China has been sharing our hard-won anti-epidemic experiences, carrying out close medical experts-level cooperation with the Philippine side," the embassy said in a statement.

March 16, 2020

The Bishops of Metro Manila announces that there will be no celebration of the Holy Mass and other religious activities from March 15 to April 14.

This covers the last three Sundays of Lent and the Holy Week, which means that celebrations including Palm Sunday, the rest of the Holy Week and Easter Sunday will not be open to the public.

"There will be no public blessing of palms, Visita Iglesia, Siete Palabras, Good Friday procession and Easter Salubong," the bishops said in a pastoral statement.

March 16, 2020

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro orders a "collective quarantine" in seven states, including the capital Caracas, from Monday to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

All activities in the seven states are to be suspended from 5:00 am on Monday, except food distribution, health services, transport and security, Maduro said in a television address. — AFP

March 16, 2020

The US territory of Puerto Rico on orders a 9:00 pm to 5:00 am curfew to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, with immediate effect and until March 30.

"Faced with the possibility of transmission and propagation of the virus, I have ordered the imposition of a curfew for all residents of Puerto Rico," Governor Wanda Vazquez announced in a video message. — AFP

March 16, 2020

The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in Europe passes 2,000 on Sunday, an AFP tally compiled from official sources showed, after 268 new deaths were recorded in Italy.

A total of 2,297 coronavirus-related deaths have now been recorded in Europe, most of them in the continent's worst-hit country Italy, which has registered 1,809.

Europe is now the continent where the virus is spreading the fastest, with nations there announcing 517 new deaths in the last 24 hours, for a total of more than 52,400 confirmed infections. Experts in several countries have warned that the number of cases is likely higher than the official number. — AFP

March 16, 2020

A total of 444 Filipinos, 438 crew members and six passengers, from virus-hit MV Grand Princess arrives in the Philippines early Monday.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the repatriates underwent health screening by the US Department of Health and Human Services upon disembarking from the ship.

Only those who were asymptomatic were allowed to board the buses that brought them to San Francisco International Airport. Their chartered flight arrived at around 2:15 a.m. on Monday.

The repatriates will undergo a 14-day quarantine at the New Clark City Athletes' Village in Capas, Tarlac.

 

March 16, 2020

Italy hits one-day record with 368 new coronavirus deaths: official data – via AFP

March 15, 2020

The Department of Health reports another fatality from COVID-19, bringing the total number of death in the Philippines to 12.

March 15, 2020

PLDT Inc., its wireless unit Smart Communications and Globe Telecom are implementing a 30-day payment extension for all its subscribers amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

March 15, 2020

The number of novel coronavirus cases globally stands at 154,620 with 5,796 deaths, across 139 countries and territories at 0900 GMT Sunday, according to a tally compiled by AFP from official sources.

Between the tally at 1700 GMT on Saturday and the latest figures on Sunday, there were 32 more deaths reported and 2,839 new cases.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP offices from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), take into account the fact that criteria for counting victims and coronavirus screening practices vary from country to country.

March 15, 2020

The Department of Health says it has recorded 29 new cases of the novel coronavirus disease as of noon on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to 140.

It also confirms three deaths, including that of an 86-year-old American male (PH9) from Marikina City who had had travel history from the US and from South Korea.

PH9 died on Saturday and had multiple causes of death, including multiple organ failure, chronic kidney and artery disease, and COVID-19.

Two Filipinos, PH54 and PH39, died on Sunday.

PH54 was a 40-year-old Filipino from Pasig City with no history of travel to foreign countries or of exposure.

PH39, a 64-year-old Filipino from Negros Oriental had visited Greenhills, a shopping center in San Juan that a previously confirmed COVID-19 patient had visited.

March 15, 2020

Vatican says to hold Easter celebrations without congregation due to virus -- AFP

March 14, 2020

Motorcycle ride-hailing companies Angkas and JoyRide will temporarily suspend passenger services in Metro Manila starting March 15 amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

March 14, 2020

Muntinlupa City Council has approved an ordinance imposing curfew in the city from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. starting Monday, March 16.

March 14, 2020

The Department of Health reports 13 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total count to 111.

March 14, 2020

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo says local government units can impose curfew once an ordinance is passed.

"In the meantime, the Metro Manila Mayors’ recommendation to impose a curfew in Metro Manila is subject to the approval of the president," Panelo says. 

"The president has yet to consider it," he adds.

March 14, 2020

The Public Information Office of the City of Baguio issues an advisory for travellers coming from countries, provinces and cities affected by COVID-19, which includes requiring them to submit to mandatory health protocols.

"Violators will be dealt with accordingly," its Facebook post reads.

March 14, 2020

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas assures the public that they will continue to provide essential services to its clients.

"Depositors are advised to remain calm as the banking system has the ability to service all withdrawals within a reasonable period," the central bank says in a statement.

"The BSP and the banking industry stand ready to ensure safe and smooth functioning of the banking system," it adds.

March 14, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs says that all the Consular Offices in Metro Manila, as well as its office in ASEANA Business Park in Parañaque City, will temporarily operate with a skeletal workforce from March 16 to April 14.

They will provide consular services only to individuals with urgent needs, including the overseas Filipino workers and those with medical cases. 

March 14, 2020

There have been reports of possible curfews and threats of arrests only to be told they will not necessarily be applied for the COVID-19 emergency.

To unify communications, the Palace and the anti-infectious diseases task force says only Duterte, his spokesperson Salvador Panelo and Health Secretary Francisco Duque are authorized to announce and discuss policies related to government's response the virus outbreak.

March 14, 2020

The Department of Health reports 34 new cases of COVID-19, bring the total number to 98.

March 14, 2020

A labor group expresses disappointment over the guidelines of the Department of Labor and Employment for workers during the lockdown in Metro Manila. 

“The issued Supplemental Guidelines of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for workers during the impending Metro Manila lockdown says nothing to ensure jobs security, regular fix pay, benefits, health and safety of our labor force,” says Thadeus Ifurung, Defend Jobs Philippines spokesperson.

“What we got clear from DOLE at least, were nothing but flexible work adjustment arrangements and leaves of absences which will be charged against available existing leaves of workers. These clear pronouncements were in fact against the welfare of our working people,” he adds.

March 14, 2020

The Health department confirms two more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total deaths in the Philippines to eight. 

March 14, 2020

ABS-CBN announces that its television dramas, which include “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano”, will have to take a temporary break on the network's primetime block.

"Starting 16 March 2020, we are bringing back our classic teleseryes and airing iWant original series in lieu of our current primetime shows," ABS-CBN says. 

The network assures the viewers that the changes are "temporary."

March 14, 2020

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra says the imposition of curfew will depend on the local ordinance of the city concerned.

"Kung walang ordinance, no arrests (as in detention) can be made," Guevarra says in a text message to Philstar.com.

As for checkpoints, Guevarra says that "law enforcement agents can physically prevent actual movements (entry into or exit from metro manila), unless covered by the exceptions or on highly justifiable grounds." 

March 14, 2020

San Juan City reports that the city government has recorded eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of March 11. 

All of the patients are in the hospital for treatment.

March 14, 2020

The Metropolitan Manila Devleopment Authority says it will impose an 8 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew and ask malls to close.

It is not clear whether the government will assist contractual workers who may not receive their wages should the malls shut down.

Supermarkets and banks, meanwhile, will remain open.

March 14, 2020

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority says it will ask malls to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But supermarkets, groceries and banks will remain open.

March 14, 2020

Malacañang extends the suspension of classes in Metro Manila to April 14.

Government agencies, on the other hand, will maintain a skeletal workforce until April 14 except for those directly dealing with the spread of COVID-19.

March 14, 2020

The Provincial Health Office of Tarlac advises residents returning from Metro Manila to do home quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and refrain from going out.

Residents are also advised to observe social distancing and frequent hand washing.

"Should you experience influenza-like symptoms (fever, cough, colds, muscle and joint pains, diarrhea), kindly get in touch with the Provincial Epidemiology," the statement reads.

March 14, 2020

Malacañang releases the implementing guidelines on the declared community quarantine of the National Capital Region. 

March 14, 2020

The Department of Health confirms one new death among the confirmed cases, bringing the number of COVID-19 fatalities in the Philippines to six.

March 14, 2020

Globe Telecom offers free and unlimited Internet connection to selected Metro Manila hospitals from March 13 to April 15 to help healthcare frontliners, patients and their loved ones remain connected and informed about the COVID-19 outbreak.

March 14, 2020

Mauritania has confirmed its first case of novel coronavirus, the country's health minister says, adding to the growing number of cases in West Africa.

In a televised statement, Health Minister Mohamed Nedhirou Ould Hamed says the case involved a foreigner who tested positive on Friday. — AFP

March 13, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Bong Go test negative for COVID-19. 

"We are fit and healthy to perform our duties," says Go.

March 13, 2020

Coron, Palawan will be under quarantine to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mayor Mario Reyes announces that the municipality of Coron will be placed under quarantine starting March 15 until April 14.

March 13, 2020

Twelve more confirmed cases of COVID-19 are recorded, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Philippines to 64.

March 13, 2020

AirAsia offers no penalties for voluntary travel changes of passengers for all domestic and international flights in the Philippines amid the COVID-19 scare.

March 13, 2020

The House of Representatives announces suspension of work from March 16 to April 12 amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

March 13, 2020

The Bangsamoro local government minister starts an anti-COVID-19 self-quarantine after attending a Senate hearing on March 10.

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, also spokesperson of the regional government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and other senior BARMM officials participated in joint hearing called for by the Senate committees on local government and finance.

The speaker of the 80-member BARMM parliament, lawyer Ali Pangalian Balindong, and Regional Executive Secretary Abdulrauf Macacua, were also present in the hearing. — The STAR/John Unson

March 13, 2020

Mayor Joy Belmonte declares a state of calamity due to COVID-19 in Quezon City.

March 13, 2020

A labor group slams the proposal of Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez to workers from the provinces who will be displaced by the impending lockdown in Metro Manila is to just “find a place” to live or rent in the area.

“Such suggestion of Lopez for workers living outside NCR to just rent a place in the city is nothing but impossible and a blatant display of insensitivity coming from a top government official,” says Thadeus Ifurung, spokesperson of Defend Jobs Philippines.

“Is DTI Secretary Lopez telling us to adjust with the vague Metro Manila lockdown set-up that they arbitrarily created and imposed? Isn’t it that they must have crafted feasible and pro-workers proposals and set-up in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak and must not pass on the burden to our poor minimum-wage earners?” he adds.

March 13, 2020

A Chinese official has suggested that the US army may have brought the deadly coronavirus into China, without providing any evidence to support his eyebrow-raising claim.

Zhao Lijian, a foreign ministry spokesman, makes the assertion on Twitter, echoing similar conspiracy theories proliferating on Chinese social media that blame the US for the pandemic. — AFP

March 13, 2020

Bohol announces it will start the community quarantine on midnight of March 16 until March 20.

"We will not be accepting visitors from outside Bohol from Monday to Friday," reads the statement of Bohol Gov. Art Yap.

March 13, 2020

China reports just eight cases of the coronavirus on Friday, with no new domestic infections outside the epicenter of Hubei province.

The National Health Commission says there were five more people infected in Hubei's capital Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December.

The numbers are the lowest daily tally for Wuhan since China started reporting figures in January. — AFP

March 13, 2020

Batangas confirms first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

March 13, 2020

The Archdiocese of Manila says no masses will be held from March 14 to 20, 2020.

March 13, 2020

NBA commissioner Adam Silver says the league shut-down because of the coronavirus pandemic is likely to last "at least 30 days".

That would see the league shuttered through what would have been about the last month of its regular season.

"What we determined today is that this hiatus will be, most likely, at least 30 days," Silver says on TNT's “Inside The NBA" program. — AFP

March 13, 2020

French President Emmanuel Macron announces schools in France would close indefinitely to curb the spread of the coronavirus, and urged people over 70 and the infirm to stay home.

In an address to the nation on the fight against COVID-19, which has already killed 61 people and infected almost 2,900 in France, Macron made clear it can no longer be business as usual.

Creches, schools and universities would close from Monday "until further notice", he said, describing the novel coronavirus as France's most serious health crisis in a century.

But the president also announced that nationwide local elections scheduled for Sunday will not be postponed.

"We are just at the beginning of this crisis," Macron said.

"In spite of all our efforts to brake it, this virus is continuing to propagate and to accelerate." — AFP

March 12, 2020

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell tested positive for COVID-19.

Earlier today, Mitchell's teammate Rudy Gobert also tested positive for the virus — prompting the suspension of the NBA season. (Report from Philstar.com/Luisa Morales)

March 12, 2020

Three new deaths from novel coronavirus in the Philippines have been reported.

The Department of Health confirmed the deaths of three Filipino patients yesterday, March 11, following President Rodrigo Duterte's announcement of a Metro Manila lockdown.

Patients 6, 5 and 37 are the latest fatalities. View the complete list of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines here.

March 12, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte raised the alert over the spread of COVID-19 to Code Red Sub Level 2, suspending classes in Metro Manila until April 12 and closing off entry and exit points to the capital region starting March 15.

This highest alert level allows the government to quarantine or place under lockdown entire communities and suspend school and work.

March 12, 2020

An employee at government think tank Philippine Institute For Development Studies has tested positive for COVID-19 is now confined at a hospital, PIDS says.

"We are committed to the safety of our personnel, clients, and community and have immediately implemented the necessary precautionary and preventive measures to address the situation," it also says.

It has implemented the following measures:

  • Work-from-home policy until March 19
  • Continuous disinfection of workplace premises
  • Contact tracing

"The building management shall also conduct a routine disinfection of all common areas. We are also closely coordinating with the City Health Office of Quezon City for guidance," PIDS also says.

According to its website, PIDS is the government's primary primary socioeconomic policy think tank.  It is based in Quezon City.

March 12, 2020
Davao City is imposing travel restrictions without calling the policy a lockdown, which technically only the president can declare.
The city's newly released guidelines state:
  1. All Davao residents are prohibited from going out of Davao City.
  2. All short term visitors are advised to leave Davao City immediately.
  3. All travelers to Davao City are requested to postpone your visit until the State of Public Health Emergency is lifted.
March 12, 2020

The media were asked earlier today to await President Duterte's nationally televised message at 6:30 p.m. about the COVID-19 emergency in the country.

He is likely to declare a heightened alert level among health agencies and hospitals and order the implementation of measures to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus.

As with his previous national addresses, there is also a delay in this scheduled event.

March 12, 2020

The Department of Health has reported three more confirmed COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 52.

The new cases will be designated PH 50-52 as the DOH does not disclose the names of patients to protect their identities.

The DOH and its surveillance teams are conducting information-gathering and contact-tracing activities on the new cases, it also says.

March 12, 2020

The province of Batanes is restricting entry of foreign and local tourists and those who are not official residents from March 16 to April 16 over fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus on the tiny islands.

In an advisory, the provincial government says only those who have documentary proof of residence, employment or lawful purpose can be allowed to enter.

Provincial authorities are also requiring everyone to carry documents showing their travel history and medical profiles. Read live updates here.

March 12, 2020

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia and the entire staff of the National Economic and Development Authority "are taking the necessary precautions and risk management measures" against the possible spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), NEDA says in a release.

Pernia is on self-quarantine as a precautionary measure, although NEDA says "he had no close contact with a person who tested psoitive for COVID-19 even though they were in the same meeting."

Work at the NEDA Central Office is suspended until March 13 for disinfection and sanitation of the office. 

March 12, 2020

False information on the novel coronavirus seems to be spreading faster than the virus itself. The Philippine National Police is countering rumors that it has ordered to lock down Metro Manila where most of the confirmed COVID-19 cases are.

"It is only the NDRRMC that can issue such an order to address the current public health emergency," police spokesperson Benigno Durana tells reporters.

Despite this, the PNP is preparing to address any contingency, Durana says.

March 12, 2020

Members of the Inter-Agency Task Force agreed on measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The plan will be brought up for the president's approval as early as later today. It will then be announced to the public.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo says in a statement that the measures were proposed by a technical committee led by Dr. Edsel Salvana, an infectious diseases expert.

March 12, 2020

App-based ride-sharing service Grab Philippines is suspending its GrabShare product in Metro Manila in Cebu by Friday, March. 13 at 12 p.m., BusinessWorld reports.

The move is to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus as the number of cases rise locally.

GrabShare is similar to a carpooling scheme where multiple riders share one car to get to destinations within short distances.

March 12, 2020

The Professional Regulation Commission has cancelled licensure examinations scheduled in March and April to ensure the safety of examinees and examiners, it announces on its website.

The following exams will be affected, PRC says:

  • Qualifying Assessment for Foreign Medical Professionals (March 14, 2020) 
  • Physician Licensure Examination (March 15-16, 2020)
  • Medical Technologists Licensure Examination (March 18-19, 2020)
  • Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers (March 29, 2020)
  • Licensure Examination for Electronic Engineers and Electronic Technicians (April1-3, 2020)
  • Licensure Examination for Midwives (April 5-6, 2020)
  • Licensure Examination for Registered Electrical Engineers and Registered Master Electricians (April 14-16, 2020)
  • Licensure Examination for Pharmacists (April 26-27, 2020)
March 12, 2020

The number of fresh infections at the epicenter of China's coronavirus epidemic dropped to a new low on Thursday but the country imported more cases from abroad.

Another 11 people died, the lowest daily increase since late January, bringing the toll in China to 3,169 deaths, according to the National Health Commission. — AFP

March 12, 2020

The National Basketball Association suspends the season amid the COVID-19 outbreak. 

March 12, 2020

Several government agencies such as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Department of Finance and the National Economic and Development Authority will be shuttered temporarily to disinfect the premises. 

March 12, 2020

El Salvador will ban entry to all foreigners for a period of 21 days in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the Central American country's president announced Wednesday.

President Nayib Bukele said on state television that immigration authorities would prohibit entry "of any foreigner who is not a resident or diplomat in Salvadoran territory."

Bukele made clear, however, that Salvadorans arriving from countries where coronavirus has been declared would have to be quarantined for 30 days.

The president also announced the suspension of school and university classes for 21 days, as well as the prohibition of gatherings of more than 500 people.

El Salvador is among a handful of Latin American countries yet to declare a confirmed case of the coronavirus. — AFP

March 11, 2020

Singapore's health ministry reports that three Filipino workers there tested positive for COVID-19 after visiting the Philippines in February.

March 11, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte will not be pushing through with his Boracay trip "in light of the recent developments and after careful review of the situation concerning the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country," presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo announces.

"The visit of the president to the said island is moved to a later date," he also says.

March 11, 2020

The Department of Health confirmed the second death in the Philippines and the first Filipino fatality of the novel coronavirus disease.

The patient (case no. 35) was confined at Manila Doctors Hospital. She was a 67-year-old Filipina with no history of travel or exposure.

March 11, 2020

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration gave 441 seafarers cleared from quarantine in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac P10,000 each before sending them home, the agency says in a release.

OWWA says the seafarers were brought home from MV Diamond Princess, a cruise ship that had been under quarantine in Yokohama, Japan for 14 days. They were repatriated and then put on another 14-day quarantine.

"For the transport service, OWWA provided bus service that brought 81 seafarers to Clark International Airport and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and airlines tickets for their return to their remote home provinces," the agency also says. 

March 11, 2020

The Securities and Exchange Commission says it will issue memorandum circulars on measures aimed at helping companies cope with the effects of COVID-19.

"The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is finalizing measures that will allow the use of remote communication in corporation’s regular and special meetings, and extend the filing period for annual reports for affected corporations to help mitigate the impact of the outbreak of the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19," it says in a press release.

March 11, 2020

The Department of Health disclosed that 16 more novel coronavirus cases in the Philippines have been detected on Wednesday.

This brings the total number of cases to 49.

The development comes as the health agency says there is a need to address the capacity of hospitals that are handling rising cases.

There are currently 9 public and private medical institutions that are caring for the patients.

March 11, 2020

Quezon City Mayor Belmonte says a fourth case of COVID-19 has been detected in the city.

The patient is a doctor working for a private hospital, Belmonte adds. 

March 11, 2020

The rice wine festival or “Ipitik”, practically an umbrella fest composed of nine other arts and culture events during the culminating week of the Baguio Flower Festival (Panagbenga), is also off.

“It is with regret and prudence that we in the Council for Baguio Creative City announce that the “Ipitik” Festival 2020, scheduled to be held on March 28-April 5 this year, is canceled, as an act of shared solidarity in combating (the) increasingly rising cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) incidence in the country," event organizer Ferdinand Balanag said in a statement.

There has no reported case of Covid-19 here or in its neighboring provinces but that did not stop the organizers to cancel the week-long event, saying "while no one has been afflicted among our constituents, as yet, it is best that it remains that way." — The STAR/Artemio Dumlao

March 11, 2020

The Medical City in Pasig says that eight out of the 33 confirmed cases of COVID-19 are in their care.

"Let it be clear, therefore, that as this epidemic evolves in ways that we cannot but must anticipate, The Medical City, ever so proud of its Epidemic Rapid Response Team as well as its entire hospital staff, will remain open to all patients who deserve our care, for as long as our capacity to do so allows it," it says in a statement.

March 11, 2020

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles says the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) will shoulder the costs of testing for COVID-19 in hospitals. 

March 11, 2020

Theater group Repertory Philippines says they will proceed with all of its scheduled shows this season, including the openight night for "Anna in the Tropics" on March 13. 

“While we usually have a cocktail reception for opening, we have decided to cancel the reception at 630PM for everyone's safety,” it says. 

March 11, 2020

The Department of Education will stagger the conduct of final examinations from March 16-20 in the National Capital Region to reduce the number of students in school at a given time, Education Secretary Leonor Briones says in an official statement.

For schools outside the capital, March 11 to 13 will be for holding examinations or to catch up with lessons and class requirements. "All remaining 4th Quarter Examinations for the week of March 16 to 20 [will be conducted] on similar staggered basis. Students shall come to school next week (March 16 to 20) on the day of their respective examination schedules."

March 10, 2020

A fifth Filipino worker has tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID), Foreign Affairs Secretary Brigido Dulay says in a tweet.

Citing information from the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong, Dukay says the worker is asymptomatic and is under in a quarantine facility.

March 10, 2020

The Department of Health confirms 9 additional cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines. 

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 33.

This corrects the earlier count of 35 after the agency issued a clarification.

March 10, 2020

The House committee on appropriations approves a P1.6-billion supplemental budget for the Department of Health to combat the new coronavirus.

Only P1.65 billion is available in the National Treasury as excess funds, which means that the DOH would have to source other funds from its own savings, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

March 10, 2020

Mongolia bars anyone from entering or leaving its cities for six days after the country reported its first coronavirus case — a French energy company employee who flew in from Moscow.

"The capital Ulaanbaatar and all province centres are quarantined until March 16 to curb the outbreak," Deputy Prime Minister Enkhtuvshin Ulziisaikhan said at a press conference. — AFP

March 10, 2020

US Vice President Mike Pence says he was unaware if Donald Trump had been tested for the novel coronavirus after it emerged that several lawmakers were exposed to the virus before meeting the president.

"I honestly don't know the answer to the question, but we'll refer that question and we will get you an answer from the White House physician very quickly," Pence tells reporters.

"I have not been tested for the coronavirus," Pence says in response to an earlier question. — AFP

March 10, 2020

US President Donald Trump praises his administration's efforts at dealing with the novel coronavirus but said that the disease had "blindsided the world."

The US "has a great economy, but this blindsided the world and I think we've handled it very well," he tells reporters. — AFP

March 9, 2020

It was President Rodrigo Duterte this time who announced new confirmed cases of the 2019 coronavirus disease in the Philippines, bringing the number to 24.

He also suspended classes in Metro Manila until March 14 to observe the supposed period the virus remains alive on surfaces and be passed on to a human carrier.

March 9, 2020

The Department of Health confirms 10 new cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 20.

According to the DOH, there is no information yet on how the 10 new cases are "epidemiologically linked" to previous confirmed patients. 

Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the latest results only came in "before lunch" on Monday and that the DOH is already conducting contact tracing on the new cases.

March 9, 2020

China closed several makeshift hospitals for coronavirus patients, some schools reopened and Disney resort staff went back to work Monday as normality slowly returns to the country after weeks battling the epidemic. 

New virus cases in China — which accounts for the vast majority of the more than 100,000 infections worldwide — have declined in recent weeks in a sign the country's unprecedented lockdown measures are working.

The improving situation stands in stark contrast with the growing global spread of the disease that has affected scores of countries and prompted some governments to impose their own draconian measures and quarantines.

China reported 40 new infections nationwide on Monday -- the smallest increase since the country began reporting the data in January. — AFP

March 9, 2020

The Quezon City government has put the family of a patient who tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to keep the virus from spreading, The STAR reports quoting Mayor Joy Belmonte.

The family will be on a 14-day quarantine. 

The STAR's Romina Cabrera adds "contact tracing is also being conducted as the COVID-19 patient had visitors from China, US and Davao since December."

March 9, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte has officially declared the Philippines under a state of public health emergency, a measure prompted by the confirmation of local transmission of the novel coronavirus on Saturday.

According to the declaration, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III "may call upon the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies to provide assistance in addressing the COVID-19 threat."

It is yet unclear what that assistance may be, but the PNP last month expressed readiness to help in contact-tracing, or looking for people that confirmed COVID-19 cases may have come into contact with.

A state of public health emergency allows mandatory quarantines and additional travel restrictions, although these have yet to be announced.

March 9, 2020

A patient in Quezon City has been confirmed to have the novel coronavirus diseas (COVID-19), Teleradyo DZMM reports quoting QC Mayor Joy Belmonte.

This confirms earlier information that a patient had tested positive in the city's District 1. 

The city's first legislative district includes the following barangays:

  • Alicia
  • Bagong Pag-asa
  • Bahay Toro
  • Balingasa
  • Bungad
  • Damar
  • Damayan
  • Del Monte
  • Katipunan
  • Lourdes
  • Maharlika
  • Manresa
  • Mariblo
  • Masambong
  • N.S. Amoranto
  • Nayong Kanluran
  • Paang Bundok
  • Pag-ibig sa Nayon
  • Paltok
  • Paraiso
  • Phil-Am
  • Project 6
  • Ramon Magsaysay
  • Saint Peter
  • Salvacion
  • San Antonio
  • San Isidro Labrador
  • San Jose
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Teresita
  • Santo Cristo
  • Santo Domingo
  • Siena
  • Talayan
  • Vasra
  • Veterans Village
  • West Triangle
March 9, 2020

Inmates in four Italian prisons have revolted over new rules introduced to contain the coronavirus outbreak, leaving one prisoner dead and others injured, a prison rights group said Sunday.

Prisoners at jails in Naples Poggioreale in the south, Modena in the north, Frosinone in central Italy and at Alexandria in the northwest had all revolted over measures including a ban on family visits.

Rights group Antigone said an inmate had died at the Modena jail, though the circumstances were not yet clear. — AFP

March 9, 2020

France bans all gatherings of more than 1,000 people in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Health Minister Olivier Veran says, as the French death toll reaches 19.

"All gatherings of more than 1,000 people are from now on banned," he said, adding that officials would issue a list of events considered "useful to national life" that would be allowed to continue such as demonstrations.

Previously the government banned gatherings in confined venues of more than 5,000 people. A decree issued on Saturday brought forward the ban's end date to April 15 from May 31 previously. — AFP

March 9, 2020

Four more COVID-19 patients are added to the six earlier reported cases, the Department of Health says in a statement before midnight.

The samples of the new cases were tested on March 7 and resulted in positive findings the day after.

The seventh case is a 38-year-old Taiwanese male who has no history of travel outside the country but made contact with another COVID-19 patient, a Taiwanese who visited the Philippines.

The eighth case is a 32-year-old Filipino male who traveled to Japan in the last 14 days. He is currently in a private hospital after the onset of symptoms on March 5.

The ninth case is an 86-year-old American male with pre-existing hypertension and history of travel to USA and South Korea. He is currently in a private hospital.

The 10th case, meanwhile, is a 57-year-old Filipino male with no history of travel outside of the country.

March 8, 2020

Statement from Greenhills Center Management

As part of the efforts to implement measures in light of the recent COVID-19 cases, Greenhills Mall is continuously being sanitized in coordination with professional sanitation experts compliant with the standards of leading health authorities.

The mall also continues to implement further measures to secure the area.

Temperature checks have been implemented, while hand sanitizers and soaps are provided in mall entrances and restrooms, respectively.

Signages on health advisories such as proper hand washing guidelines have been set in place.

In addition, a help desk manned by medical personnel who have been briefed on the protocols by the Department of Health has been established at the Connecticut Parking Building for shoppers, tenants, and employees who may need medical assistance.

Management is continuously coordinating with the DOH and the City Government of San Juan to take action as necessary.

Rest assured that the health of our shoppers, tenants, employees, and the public remains as our top priority.

March 8, 2020

Malaysia and Thailand have barred a cruise ship carrying about 2,000 people, including dozens of Italians, from docking due to fears about the new coronavirus, an official said Sunday.

The Costa Fortuna was first turned away from the popular Thai holiday island of Phuket Friday, despite there being no suspected virus cases aboard, according to its operator. 

Thai authorities had imposed restrictions "on Italians that have transited in Italy in the last 14 days", Costa Cruises said on Twitter.

The ship is carrying 64 Italians, according to Malaysian officials. -- AFP

March 8, 2020

Senior citizens should "take extra precautions and avoid non-essential travel to specific areas where there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 because most of the confirmed cases and patients under investigation for COVID-19 are elderly people," Rep. Francisco Datol (Senior Citizen party-list) says.

"Also necessary are frequent proper handwashing and personal hygiene practices like taking soap baths to prevent infection of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. Please immediately go to the nearest public or private hospital when you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 or other illnesses. Please avail of your PhilHealth benefits. Visit the Malasakit Centers so your hospital bills will be greatly reduced," he also says.

Datol also asked barangay officials to check on their senior constituents, saying "seniors are very active voters." 

"It is but right that public servants reciprocate with even more vigor to attend to the needs of the elderly," Datol says.

In a previous House hearing onnCOVID-19, Datol had played down the threat of the novel coronavirus, saying it was "made in China" and was therefore of low quality.

March 8, 2020

Rep. Angelica Natasha Co (BHW party-list) suggests "the entire Greenhills Shopping Complex should go on a sanitation holiday for a few days for a systematic set of sanitation procedures."

One of the confirmed COVID-19 cases announced on Friday frequented a prayer room at the Greenhills Shopping Center.

She says "the sanitation holiday would serve to assure shoppers that business will resume as usual at Greenhills." 

Co also says  in a press statement that barangay health workers "must promote proper handwashing, personal hygiene, and illness etiquette to families and barangays." 

March 8, 2020

China on Sunday reported 27 new deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the nationwide toll to 3,097.

There were 44 new cases of the infection, most in the virus epicentre of Wuhan, which also accounted for all of the deaths, according to the National Health Commission.

Only three cases, all imported from abroad, were reported outside of Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, in Beijing and the northwest province of Gansu.

New infections reported from Hubei have been on a downward trend for several weeks and at 41, the number of new cases is the lowest since quarantine measures were imposed on the province in late January. — AFP

March 7, 2020

Italy begins recruiting retired doctors as part of urgent efforts to bolster the healthcare system with 20,000 additional staff and fight the escalating viral epidemic.

The measure is one of several adopted by the government during an all-night cabinet meeting that came after the Mediterranean country reported 49 more deaths. — AFP

March 7, 2020

NEO Property Management Inc. says it is taking all necessary and extensive measures to limit the spread of the virus after confirmation that an employee of Deloitte Philippines tested positive for COVID-19.

It says the building will be closed down on Saturday, starting 7 p.m., for thorough disinfection.

March 7, 2020

Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco announces the suspension of classes in all levels on Monday, March 9, 2020, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

#walangpasok sa Lunes March 9,2020 sa lahat ng antas magmula kindergarten hangang college, sa lahat ng paaralan sa #navotas both public and private. at ako ay nakikiusap sa #deped na automatic passing para sa lahat… https://t.co/GihivOMh4J

— Toby Tiangco (@TobyTiangco) March 7, 2020

He says Navotas City has no confirmed COVID-19 case and explains that his move is merely a preventive measure.

 

March 7, 2020

The Department of Health says they are raising code red, sub-level 1 pre-emptive measures amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.

March 7, 2020

The Department of Health recommends the declaration of a state of public health emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak to protect Filipinos.

March 7, 2020

The Department of Health confirms the first case of local transmission of COVID-19 in the Philippines.

The sixth confirmed case is a 59-year-old woman, who is the wife of the fifth case, according to DOH.

March 7, 2020

St. Luke's Medical Center announces that its Global City, Taguig branch managed a patient who tested positive for COVID-19. 

The patient was transferred to Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. 

The hospital assures that the patient was "identified right away and exposure was limited as he did not enter the main hospital premises and main emergency room."

March 7, 2020

Taguig City Mayor Lino Cayetano confirms that the employee of Deloitte Philippines who tested positive for COVID-19 is one of the two new confirmed cases which the Department of Health announced on Friday.  

March 7, 2020

The Bonifacio Global City says they are working closely with the building management, the Taguig City government and the Department of Health to manage the situation after a confirmation that an employee of Deloitte Philippines has tested positive for COVID-19.

"The health and safety of our BGCitizens are our top priority," BGC says in a statement. 

March 7, 2020

Cainta Mayor Keith Nieto says they are implementing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and protect the public after confirmation that a resident has tested positive for COVID-19. 

March 7, 2020

China reports 28 new deaths from the coronavirus outbreak, bringing the nationwide toll to 3,070.

There were 99 fresh cases of infection, according to the National Health Commission, with a rise in new cases outside the virus epicenter of Hubei province for a third consecutive day.

There were 25 new cases reported outside the central province, which remains under lockdown in a bid to control the spread of the virus. — AFP

March 7, 2020

The Philippines' arm of the multinational consulting company Deloitte admits that one of its employees working in the Bonifacio Global City headquarters tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

It is not immediately clear, however, whether the case confirmed by the company is already among the new Filipino cases the Department of Health announced yesterday.

"We can confirm that a colleague in our Deloitte Philippines office has tested positive for COVID-19. The colleague is currently in hospital receiving treatment and further tests, and Deloitte is supporting the colleague and family in every way we can," Deloitte Philippines says in its announcement.

March 6, 2020

The Vatican reports its first coronavirus case, saying it has suspended outpatient services at its health clinic after a patient tested positive for COVID-19.

The clinic inside the tiny city state — which has some 1,000 residents — will be deep cleaned, while the emergency room will remain open, spokesman Matteo Bruni told AFP.

The patient tested positive on Thursday. — AFP

March 6, 2020

Seoul threatens to retaliate over what it called Tokyo's "irrational" plan to quarantine arrivals from South Korea over the coronavirus outbreak, turning the scientific issue into a diplomatic row.

The two countries have close economic ties and are both major US allies, democracies and market economies faced with a rising China and nuclear-armed North Korea. — AFP

March 6, 2020

One of the patients who tested positive for COVID-19 had no history of travels or contact with those who traveled to affected countries, according to Cardinal Santos Medical Center (CSMC) in San Juan City.

The hospital said it took care of a male patient who tested positive for coronavirus given continued presence of symptoms.

The patient, however, has been transferred to the Research Institute for Tropical Center in Manila.

"CSMC has taken all the precautionary measures that all those who had contact with the patients have been processed following protocols of DOH on quarantine, monitoring and observation," the hospital said in a statement released Friday.

March 6, 2020

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora orders the sanitation and temporary closure of a prayer room in Barangay Greenhills which was frequented by a new confirmed COVID-19 patient.

"The Department of Health and the City Government of San Juan are now conducting contact tracing to determine whom this patient has been in contact with since he displayed symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID 19) during the last week of February," the statement reads. 

March 6, 2020

Authorities say an Ecuadoran navy ship with 50 people on board was quarantined after it was discovered that one of the crew had had contact with the first person in the country known to be infected with the new coronavirus.

Despite the sailors' negative test results for COVID-19, the disease which first appeared in China late last year, the ship was placed in isolation until Friday, the health minister says.

"It was decided to undertake a quarantine of the unit, a warship, the BAE Chimborazo," the navy's health director Douglas Campos says during a press conference in the southwestern city of Guayaquil. — AFP

March 6, 2020

Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Ed Menez says there are Filipino crew members onboard MV Grand Princess, which is being held off the coast of San Francisco to determine if any of the nearly 3,500 guests and crew had contracted COVID-19.

Out of the 1,111 crew members, around 530 to 540 are reprted to be Filipinos.

"We do not have confirmations about Filipino passengers yet," Menez says. 

"As of the moment, there are passengers and crew of unidentified nationalities who are exhibiting symptoms and are being tested accordingly," he adds. 

March 6, 2020

The US Congress passes an $8.3 billion emergency spending bill to address the coronavirus crisis as infections spread to at least 14 states and deaths reached 11.

The Senate gave sweeping bipartisan support to the funding one day after the House passed the bill, so that it could be quickly sent to the White House for President Donald Trump's signature. — AFP

March 5, 2020

Police say a 74-year-old woman suffering from the new coronavirus has died in Switzerland, marking the country's first death in the outbreak.

The woman, who was hospitalized in the western city of Lausanne with the virus on Tuesday, had died overnight to Thursday, regional police in the canton of Vaud say in a statement.

To date, Switzerland has registered 58 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the disease first surfaced in the country on February 25. — AFP

March 5, 2020

The death toll in the United States from the new coronavirus rises to 11, as lawmakers in Congress agree to provide more than $8 billion to fight the rapidly spreading disease.

California Governor Gavin Newsom declares an emergency as he reports the state's first fatality from the COVID-19 illness -- an elderly person who had taken a cruise to Mexico -- while health officials in nearby Washington state said a 10th person had died there. — AFP

March 5, 2020

Former US president Barack Obama calls for people to take "common sense precautions" over the coronavirus outbreak — advising them to follow hand-washing guidelines but not to wear masks.

"Save the masks for health care workers. Let's stay calm, listen to the experts, and follow the science," tweeted Obama, who has kept a low public profile since leaving office in 2017.

He said people should keep track of updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — and stay home if they are sick. — AFP

March 4, 2020

Iraq says a 70-year-old Muslim cleric died from the novel coronavirus, marking the first death from the outbreak in a country where 31 people have been infected.

The preacher had been quarantined in the northeastern city of Sulaimaniyah before his death, a spokesman for the northern Kurdish autonomous region's health authority says. — AFP

March 4, 2020

China on Wednesday reported 38 more deaths from the new coronavirus but a fall in fresh cases for a third consecutive day.

The death toll nationwide is now 2,981, the National Health Commission said, with more than 80,200 people infected in total. — AFP

March 4, 2020

The IMF and World Bank say the spring gathering of finance ministers and central bankers held in Washington in April will be shifted to a "virtual format" due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The twice-yearly meetings of the development lending institutions attract thousands of officials, journalists and private sector participants from 180 member countries -- just the kind of gathering health authorities say should be avoided. — AFP

March 4, 2020

The World Bank unveils a $12 billion aid package that will provide fast-track funds to help countries combat the coronavirus outbreak.

"The goal is to provide fast, effective action that response to country needs," World Bank President David Malpass told reporters. 

He said it is critical to "recognize the extra burden on poor countries" least equipped in the struggle to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The funds, some of which are targeted to the world's poorest nations, can be used for medical equipment or health services and will include expertise and policy advice, the bank said in a statement. — AFP

March 4, 2020

Spanish officials reported the country's first coronavirus death on Tuesday, a man who died last month in the eastern region of Valencia.

"It is a patient who died on February 13," regional health officer Ana Barcelo Chico told journalists, adding that post-mortem analysis had come back "positive". — AFP

March 4, 2020

The World Health Organization said Tuesday that only one percent of new coronavirus cases registered in China were without symptoms, which appears to bely fears the virus spreads via people who appear healthy.

"Evidence from China is that only one percent of reported cases do not have symptoms, and most of those cases develop symptoms within two days," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva. — AFP

March 3, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs is getting ready to repatriate at least 148 Filipinos from Macau through a chartered flight, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration is also arranging to repatriate 48 of its active members from Macau via one commercial flight.

March 3, 2020

Filipinos will be allowed to travel to South Korea except North Gyeongsang province, including Daegu City and Cheongdo City, where the coronavirus outbreak is concentrated.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the partial lifting of the travel ban after its meeting on Tuesday.

"All Filipinos who intend to visit other parts of South Korea shall execute and sign a declaration, signifying their knowledge and understanding of the risks involved in their trip," Malacañang said in a statement.
 

March 3, 2020

Canada asks travelers arriving from Iran -- one of the countries hardest hit by the new coronavirus epidemic -- to self-isolate at home for 14 days, even if they are not exhibiting any symptoms.

Health authorities ask Canadians to avoid any non-essential travel to Iran and the northern region of Italy, which have both emerged as major hotspots for the infection. 

The respiratory illness has killed 66 people in Iran with more than 1,500 confirmed infections. — AFP

March 3, 2020

Italy reports a jump in the death toll from the coronavirus to 52, with more than 2,000 people infected, most in the country's northern Lombardy region.

The civil protection agency says 18 people had died since Sunday -- including three in Emilia Romagna -- all of whom were either elderly or had serious pre-existing medical conditions.

Some 166 people remained were in intensive care, while 149 patients had recovered since the epidemic hit Italy, it says. — AFP

March 3, 2020

Officials say the number of US deaths from the novel coronavirus rose to six on Monday, signaling the contagion has taken root in the Pacific Northwest.

Vice President Mike Pence announces a treatment for the disease could be available by summer or early fall, but that a vaccine was farther off. — AFP

March 3, 2020

China reports 125 new virus cases, marking the lowest number of new daily infections in six weeks.

There were also 31 more deaths, the National Health Commission reports — all in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, raising the nationwide toll to 2,943. — AFP

March 2, 2020

The Department of Health-9 assures parents they can send their children to school amid the risk of infection from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Locals had been worried after find out that a group of tourists who arrived in in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte last Friday had come from South Korea.

Dr. Joshua Brilliantes, DOH-9 assistant regional director, says they have received reports of the 15 tourists who came from Seoul, South Korea and arrived in Dipolog City via Cebu.

They arrived as the government announced a travel ban on South Korea and travel restrictions on people arriving from North Gyeongsang, particularly in Cheongdo county and Daegu City.

Brilliantes assures the public that Seoul is not included in the list of infected areas. — The STAR/Roel Pareño

March 2, 2020

The leader of a South Korean sect linked to around half of the country's 4,000-plus coronavirus cases apologizes for the spread of the disease. 

"I would like to offer my sincere apology to the people on behalf of the members," Shincheonji head Lee Man-hee told reporters in Gapyeong, his voice breaking, before bowing before them, his head to the floor. — AFP

March 2, 2020

The Department of Health says there are 86 confirmed cases of Filipinos infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) abroad.

Broken down, the cases are as follows:

Japan - 80

United Arab Emirates - 2

Hong Kong - 2

Singapore - 2

March 2, 2020

The second fatality on US soil from the novel coronavirus has been confirmed, health officials said Sunday (US time), as New York reports its first case.

The man, who died Saturday, was in his 70s and had "underlying health conditions," according to the public health office in King County, Washington state.

The death occurred in King County, the most populous in the state and home to Seattle, a city of more than 700,000 people.

It is the second death in both Washington state and King County. The first victim, who died earlier Saturday, was in his 50s and also had "underlying health conditions," according to Jeff Duchin, public health officer for Seattle and King County. — AFP

March 2, 2020

A total of 86 overseas Filipinos have tested positive for COVID-19, the Department of Health said Monday.

Data from the DOH showed that 80 Filipinos tested positive for the SARS-like virus in Japan, while two each were confirmed in Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

 

 

March 2, 2020

The number of deaths globally in the new coronavirus outbreak passes 3,000 on Monday, as China reports 42 deaths.

The latest fatalities are all in the virus epicentre Hubei province, the National Health Commission says, as it reports the lowest daily tally of fresh infections since late January. — AFP

March 2, 2020

Infections by the new coronavirus nearly doubles in the last 48 hours in Italy, the head of the country's civil protection body said Sunday.

Since the start of the epidemic, 1,694 people have tested positive for COVID-19 including those who have died and those who have recovered, Angelo Borrelli told a press briefing.

As of Friday, the figure was 888.

Five more people died on Sunday, bringing Italy's death toll to 34 — all in the northern regions of Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto.

Of 779 people who were still in hospital on Sunday, 140 were in intensive care, Borrelli said. — AFP

March 1, 2020

The Xuda Shoes Company is usually bustling at this time of year, with workers having long returned from a Lunar New Year holiday in their hometowns to kick-start production of tens of thousands of shoes daily.

But China's coronavirus epidemic has changed all that.

Only about one-third of the roughly 1,000-strong workforce at Xuda's factory in the eastern export hub of Wenzhou are around, the rest blocked by virus-induced travel disruptions and safety measures.

Getting back to full annual capacity of seven million pairs of shoes could take several more weeks, company officials said. — AFP

March 1, 2020

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Sunday the government was waging "all-out responses" to contain the novel coronavirus as the country reported 376 new cases, taking the total to 3,526.

South Korea has the largest national total in the world outside China, after it saw a rapid surge in the number of coronavirus cases in recent days.

Scores of events have been cancelled or postponed over the virus, while more than 70 countries raised their travel restrictions against South Korea.

"The government is now waging all-out responses after raising the crisis alert to the highest level," Moon said at a ceremony marking Independence Movement Day, scaled down due to the outbreak. — AFP

March 1, 2020

The first fatality from the novel coronavirus has been confirmed on US soil, as US President Donald Trump on Saturday urged Americans not to panic.

Health officials said the man who died in Washington state was one of a handful with no known links to global hot zones to have contracted the virus — indicating that the pathogen was now likely spreading in communities.

The death occurred in King County, the most populous in the state and home to Seattle, a city of more than 700,000 people, officials told AFP. — AFP

February 29, 2020

Mexico's health ministry says the country has confirmed three cases of the coronavirus, becoming the second Latin American nation reached by the global outbreak.

The three men -- two in Mexico City and one in the northern state of Sinaloa -- are all believed to have visited northern Italy, the epicentre of the virus in Europe. — AFP

February 29, 2020

Four more Filipino repatriates from Diamond Princess cruise ship are showing signs and symptoms of the potentially deadly coronavirus disease.

This brings the number of symptomatic repatriates to nine. 

February 29, 2020

South Korea confirms 813 more coronavirus cases on Saturday, the biggest increase to date for the country and taking the national total to 3,150 infections with four additional deaths.

Authorities also report the country's first case of reinfection -- a 73-year-old woman who tested positive for a second time after her recovery and release from hospital last week. ?— AFP

February 29, 2020

The Department of Tourism announces that the nationwide mall sale will be postponed to prioritize the safety of citizens amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"Given the alarming rise in corona virus disease (COVID-19) infections all over the world during the past few days, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has postponed the nationwide mall sale portion of the 2020 Philippine Shopping Festival until further notice," the department says in a release.

"The DOT maintains its stance to prioritize the safety of its citizens more than visitor arrivals and revenue," it adds. 

February 29, 2020

China reports 47 more deaths from the new coronavirus, raising the death toll in the country to 2,835.

The National Health Commission also tallies 427 new cases, an increase from the previous day, bringing the total number of infections to 79,251. — AFP

February 29, 2020

The United States has delayed a regional ASEAN summit scheduled to take place in Las Vegas next month due to fears of the coronavirus, a senior administration official says.

"As the international community works together to defeat the novel coronavirus, the United States, in consultation with ASEAN partners, has made the difficult decision to postpone the ASEAN leaders meeting," says the official on condition of not being named. — AFP

February 28, 2020

Iran reports eight new deaths from coronavirus, taking its overall toll to 34.

An additional 143 infections have been detected over the past 24 hours, raising the total number of cases to 388, health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour says. — AFP

February 28, 2020

Air carrier Philippine Airlines announces it will lay off some 300 employees due to company losses incurred from travel bans amid COVID-19 scare.

February 28, 2020

South Korea reports 315 new coronavirus cases, taking its rise on the day to 571 and overtaking the increase reported in China, where the disease first emerged.

The South -- which has an advanced health system whose statistics are regarded as reliable by observers -- now has 2,337 cases, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on its website. — AFP

February 28, 2020

Belarus reports its first coronavirus case, an Iranian student who arrived in the country from Azerbaijan last week.

The health ministry says the patient was in a "satisfactory" condition.

People the student had been in contact with since their arrival on February 22 had been placed in quarantine in the hospital for infectious diseases in the capital Minsk, it adds in a statement. — AFP

February 28, 2020

A spokesperson of the Philippine Coast Guard says they are investigating a "misrepresented" vessel from China.

"The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commandant, Admiral Joel S Garcia has ordered the investigation of Panama-flagged cargo vessel 'MV Harmony 6' after its captain allegedly declared false information of its port clearance details amid intensified maritime security measures against 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)," says PCG spokesperson Commodore Armando  Balilo.

"PCG will coordinate with BOQ (Bureau of Quarantine) to identify possible criminal charges if MV Harmony 6 will be found guilty of mentioned violations," he adds. 

 

February 28, 2020

An Inter-Agency Task Force resolution was released, imposing travel restrictions on travelers to and from South Korea due to rise of COVID-19 cases

February 28, 2020

The operator of Tokyo's two Disney resorts, Disneyland and DisneySea, says the parks would be closed for around two weeks on fears over the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

"Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea have decided to proceed with an extraordinary closure from Saturday February 29, 2020, through Sunday March 15" after the government urged measures to limit the spread of the virus, the operator says in a statement. — AFP

February 28, 2020

K-pop group BTS cancels Seoul concerts as coronavirus spreads in South Korea, according to an agency.

February 28, 2020

China reports 44 new virus deaths, lowest rise in new cases in over a month.

February 28, 2020

The first case of the novel coronavirus in the Netherlands was detected on Thursday, in a patient who had travelled to northern Italy, the worst hit area in Europe, the national public health institute announces.

Individuals who have been in "close contact" with the man have been tested and the patient placed in isolation in a hospital in the southern town of Tilburg, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) says. — AFP

February 27, 2020

Three repatriates under quarantine in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac "are showing symptoms of the coronavirus disease," ONE News reports, quoting Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. The three have been brought to a hospital, he also says.

The repatriates are a second batch of Filipinos under quarantine in New Clark City and were brought to the Philippines from Japan, where a Coronavirus Disease outbreak hit the MV Diamond Princess.

An earlier batch of 49 repatriates from Wuhan, China have already been cleared and released from quarantine.

February 27, 2020

Taiwan authorities have accused Chinese internet trolls of sowing panic over the coronavirus outbreak, with much of the disinformation falsely implying the island has an out of control epidemic.

Police say they are investigating a surge of stories spreading online and through social media claiming President Tsai Ing-wen's government was trying to cover up an outbreak.

"We suspect that mainland Chinese Internet trolls are making up and spreading the false messages based on the content and the phrases," Taiwan's Investigation Bureau says in a statement. — AFP

February 27, 2020

Japan is at a "crossroads" in preventing a major coronavirus outbreak and may need to reconsider the Olympics if domestic transmissions are not brought under control, an expert advising the government has warned.

Norio Ohmagari, an infectious disease specialist, says that he believes measures being taken by the government can still prevent the virus from spreading more widely, but that the next three weeks will be critical. — AFP

February 27, 2020

Donald Trump says he was considering US travel restrictions on Italy and South Korea over coronavirus fears, adding the situation would not inevitably worsen in the United States. 

The president's optimism about containing the pathogen contradicted a senior health official in his own administration and came as authorities said they had identified the first case of unknown origin in the United States. — AFP

February 27, 2020

The US and South Korean militaries on Thursday announce the postponement of forthcoming joint exercises due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision was made after Seoul declared its highest "severe" alert level over the virus, Combined Forces Command say in a statement, adding the combined command post training had been postponed "until further notice". — Agence France-Presse

February 26, 2020

France reports first French death from coronavirus. 

February 26, 2020

Health Secretary  Francisco Duque III says the inter-agency task force is temporarily banning Filipinos from traveling to all parts of South Korea due to COVID-19.

February 26, 2020

The Philippines will impose a ban on the entry of travelers from South Korea's North Gyeongsang province due to COVID-19, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Wednesday.

Panelo said the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases will implement the travel ban immediately.

The task force also allowed Filipinos to travel to South Korea provided that they are permanent residents thereof, leaving for study or are overseas workers.

February 26, 2020

A US soldier stationed in South Korea has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, commanders say, the first US serviceman to do so.

The soldier is stationed at Camp Carroll, 30 kilometres north of Daegu, the city that is the epicentre of the outbreak in the South, US Forces Korea said in a statement, adding that he had been put in self-quarantine at his off-base residence. — AFP

February 26, 2020

China reports 52 new coronavirus deaths, the lowest figure in more than three weeks, bringing the death toll to 2,715.

All the new deaths were in the outbreak epicentre Hubei province, which accounted for 401 of the 406 new infections reported Wednesday, the National Health Commission said.

The number of fresh cases has declined in China, with multiple provinces reporting zero new infections in recent days. — AFP

February 26, 2020

South Korea's coronavirus case total jumps well into four figures Wednesday as authorities reported 169 new infections, taking the overall tally to 1,146, by far the largest outside China.

An 11th person had died of the disease, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added in a statement on its website. — AFP

February 26, 2020

A total of 445 Filipinos aboard coronavirus-hit MV Diamond Princess arrives home from Japan.

The first flight, which carried 309 passengers, the DFA repatriation team and a DOH response team arrived at Clark Airbase at 10:10 p.m. on Tuesday. The flight with 136 passengers arrived at 12:12 a.m. on Wednesday.

Upon arrival, the repatriated Filipinos, including the DFA and DOH repatriation team members, were brought to the New Clark City Athletes' Village in Capas, Tarlac for a mandatory 14-day quarantine program.

February 25, 2020

Iranian officials report three more deaths from the novel coronavirus, taking the total number of fatalities to 15, state media reports.

Two of the dead were elderly women in the central province of Markazi and the other was a patient in the northern province of Alborz, state news agency IRNA said Tuesday. — AFP

February 25, 2020

The first of two Philippine Airlines flights that will bring Filipino crew members of coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess are ready to leave for Japan.

The Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, along with the Department of Health team, are also ready at Yokohama Port for the arrival of over 400 Filipinos aboard the Japanese cruise ship.

 

 

February 25, 2020

China on Tuesday reports another 71 deaths from the novel coronavirus, the lowest daily number of fatalities in over two weeks, which raises the toll to 2,663.

The National Health Commission also reports 508 new confirmed cases, with all by nine in hard-hit Hubei province.

It is up from Monday's 409 cases nationwide. — AFP

February 24, 2020

Hong Kong will bar non-residents arriving from South Korea from Tuesday morning in response to the growing coronavirus outbreak, the city's security chief said late Monday.

"Considering the development of the epidemic in South Korea, the Security Bureau will issue a red travel alert," John Lee told reporters. 

"We also urge Hong Kong residents not to travel there unless necessary," he added. — AFP

February 24, 2020

Authorities in Wuhan on Monday reversed a decision that would have allowed some people to leave the quarantined city at the centre of China's deadly virus epidemic, and reprimanded officials who had made the announcement.

The city government said in a statement that the previous announcement had been made by a traffic prevention and control group "without the consent" of the local leadership.

"The announcement is declared invalid. In this regard, we have seriously dealt with the relevant personnel," the city said on its official account on Twitter-like Weibo.

"Wuhan resolutely implements the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important instructions on 'preventing leaks (of the virus)' ... strictly manages the passages leaving from Wuhan, strictly controls personnel, and strictly prevents the epidemic from going out," it said.  — AFP

February 24, 2020

Israel confirms its second case of the new coronavirus — a second returned citizen from the stricken cruise ship Diamond Princess.

"Another passenger who returned from the cruise ship in Japan has tested positive," a health ministry statement said.

"The patient is in isolation and under supervision and was not infected in Israel," it said.

The first case was announced on Friday. — AFP

February 24, 2020

Iran's confirmed death toll from the new coronavirus rises to eight, the highest outside China, sending neighbouring countries scrambling to contain the outbreak.

Four immediate neighbours of the Islamic republic — Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Armenia — said on Sunday they would close land borders, while three imposed restrictions on air traffic, amid growing regional concerns about the spread of the virus.

Iraqi and Kuwaiti authorities have already banned travel to and from Iran.

Lebanon has confirmed its first case — a 45-year-old Lebanese woman who had travelled from Qom in Iran — and Israel on Sunday quarantined at home nearly 200 school pupils who came into contact with South Korean tourists who contracted the virus. — AFP

February 24, 2020

Armenia will close its border with Iran and suspend flights, Prime Minister Nikol Pachinian announced Sunday, as fears over a deadly outbreak of the new coronavirus in Iran sent neighbouring countries scrambling to contain the outbreak.     

"Iran-Armenia air links and the entry of people into Armenia via the Meghri checkpoint", the only border crossing between the nations, "will be suspended", he said in a post on Twitter, adding that the measure was set to last two weeks. 

A special committee tasked with preventing the spread of the virus in Armenia will meet on Monday to discuss other possible steps in view of the situation in Iran, Pachinian said.

"There is no reason to be overcome by panic," he added. — AFP

February 24, 2020

An elderly woman in hospital for cancer who tested positive for the new coronavirushas died, health officials in Italy said on Sunday. 

"She had been hospitalised for a few days," said Giulio Gallera, the health chief of the northern Lombardy region, the centre of a coronavirus outbreak. "She'd been tested and they already knew she had the coronavirus."

If coronavirus is determined to be the cause of death, the woman will be the third person in Italy to have died from the so-called COVID-19 epidemic. — AFP

February 23, 2020

Nearly 200 Israeli pupils were ordered to begin a two-week quarantine from Sunday after having come into contact with South Korean tourists who contracted the coronavirus, the education ministry said.

South Korean members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus toured Israeli sites between February 8-15 and upon their return home 18 of them were discovered to be infected with the virus.

Israel's health ministry urged people who might have encountered them to self-quarantine, including 180 pupils and 19 staff from three separate schools who it said had close contact with the South Korean visitors.

The pupils and staff, including 18 teachers and a guard, were ordered "to remain home" for 14 days, the education ministry said. — AFP

February 23, 2020

South Korea is raising its alert level on the new coronavirus to the "highest", President Moon Jae-in said Sunday, in the face of a sudden spike in the number of infections.

"The COVID-19 incident faces a grave turning point. The next few days will be crucial," Moon said following a government meeting on the virus.

"The government will raise the alert level to the highest level according to experts' recommendations," he added.

South Korea has seen a rapid surge in the number of coronavirus cases in recent days after a cluster of infections emerged from a religious sect in the southern city of Daegu last week.

The national toll of 556 cases is now the highest outside China, apart from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan. — AFP

February 23, 2020


Around 100 more passengers were allowed to disembark from the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship on Saturday as Japan's health minister apologised after 23 others were allowed to leave without being properly tested.

The news came as a Japanese woman who left the ship on Wednesday tested positive for the virus after returning home to Tochigi Prefecture, Kyodo news agency reported, citing the prefectural government.

She is the first person to have tested positive for the virus among the group of approximately 970 passengers who disembarked earlier this week, it said.

The 100 passengers who left on Saturday had been in close contact with infected people on board, local media said.

They included the last group of Japanese passengers to leave the ship, while some foreign passengers were still waiting on board for their governments to send chartered aircraft. — AFP 

February 22, 2020

A second person in Italy has died from complications from the new coronavirus, Italian news agency ANSA says on Saturday. 

The death of a woman in the northern region of Lombardy follows that of a 78-year-old man who died on Friday. The new wave of cases in Italy's northern regions have triggered shut-downs of shops, offices and community centers. — AFP

February 22, 2020

Iran reports one more death among 10 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths in the Islamic republic to five and infections to 28.

"We have 10 new confirmed cases of COVID-19," health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour says on state television. "One of the new cases has unfortunately passed away." — AFP

February 22, 2020

Local media say some 100 passengers who were in close contact with infected people on board began disembarking from the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship.

They included the last batch of Japanese passengers to leave the ship while some foreign passengers were still waiting on board for chartered aircraft to be sent by their governments. Around 970 passengers disembarked earlier this week. — AFP

February 22, 2020

The Department of Health says the repatriation of Filipinos on board M/V Diamond Princess Cruise ship was suspended. 

"This is to allow the Japanese health authorities to complete the laboratory testing of the 400-plus Filipino crew members aboard the ship and comply with the established Japanese quarantine protocols," the DOH says in a statement.

February 22, 2020

The British government says it had begun repatriating its citizens from a cruise ship quarantined off Tokyo for more than two weeks by Japanese authorities over the coronavirus outbreak.

"We can confirm the evacuation flight from Japan has now departed with 32 British and European passengers on board, as well as British government and medical staff. It is due to arrive in the UK on Saturday morning," the Foreign Office says in a statement. — AFP

February 22, 2020

The Ministry of Health and Prevention of the United Arab Emirates says a Filipino was among the two new confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

Besides the Filipino, a Bangladeshi was also confirmed carrying the deadly virus. Both "had close contact with the recently confirmed cases of the Chinese citizen."
 

February 22, 2020

Tokyo 2020 Olympic organizers postpone training for their army of volunteers due to the coronavirus outbreak but reiterated that there was "no consideration" of cancelling the Games.

In a press release published in the early hours of Saturday morning, Tokyo 2020 says: "As part of efforts to prevent the spread of infection of the novel coronavirus, we have decided to postpone training scheduled from tomorrow (February 22)." — AFP

February 21, 2020

Iran says two more deaths among 13 new cases of coronavirus.

February 21, 2020

Chinese wrestlers gunning for a place at this summer's Tokyo Olympics are training in quarantine in Serbia after a qualifying event was moved from China to Kyrgyzstan because of the coronavirus.

The Chinese athletes "are going through an extensive quarantine process" in the Serbian capital Belgrade and will then fly to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, for the Asian Olympic qualifier on March 27-29, United World Wrestling (UWW) says. — AFP

February 21, 2020

Iran has confirmed three new coronavirus cases following the deaths of two elderly men, the health ministry says, as Iraq banned travel to and from its neighbour.

The pair who died were elderly Iranian citizens and residents of the city of Qom. They were the first confirmed deaths from the COVID-19 virus in the Middle East. — AFP

February 21, 2020

Health officials say two Australians who have been diagnosed with coronavirus after being evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship had earlier tested negative in Japan.

Department of health officials say that all 164 Australians who were returned home earlier this week "were tested for COVID-19 in Japan and returned negative results".

Officials stress that the development of some positive cases among cleared evacuees was "not unexpected", given the continued spread of the disease onboard after testing began. — AFP

February 21, 2020

Two Australians evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for coronavirus, authorities says, raising questions about Japan's policy of allowing evacuees from the ship to move freely after testing negative for the disease. 

"We have two people who are positive for the COVID-19 virus. Those two people have mild illness," says Dianne Stephens, acting chief health officer for the Northern Territories.

Some 164 Australians aboard the Diamond Princess were cleared for transfer from the ship to quarantine in Australia's remote north. — AFP

February 20, 2020

Dozens of people protested Thursday outside a hospital in central Ukraine and some briefly clashed with police over plans to quarantine evacuees from coronavirus-hit China in the facility, officials said.

The protest took place in the central Poltava region as Kiev repatriated dozens of nationals and foreigners from China and President Volodymyr Zelensky urged his compatriots to show solidarity.

Dozens of protesters blocked a road near a hospital in the town of Novi Sanzhary even before authorities confirmed the site would hold evacuees.

A plane carrying 45 Ukrainians and 27 foreign nationals from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, arrived Thursday in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. — AFP

February 20, 2020

A cluster of novel coronavirus infections centred on a sect in the South Korean city of Daegu leaps to 39 cases, with its mayor advising residents to stay indoors as the country's total spiked for the second successive day.

Almost half the country's patients are linked to a 61-year-old woman who is a member of the Daegu branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, an entity often accused of being a cult. — AFP

February 20, 2020

China's efforts to control the outbreak of the deadly new coronavirus "are working", Foreign Minister Wang Yi insists Thursday, attributing an easing in new cases to his country's "forceful action" against the illness.

"China is not only protecting its own people but also the rest of the world," he tells Southeast Asian counterparts at a summit in Laos. — AFP

February 20, 2020

Media reports say two elderly coronavirus patients from a quarantined cruise ship off Japan have died, citing a government source.

A man and a woman in their 80s who had been infected have died, public broadcaster NHK and other media say.

No immediate confirmation was available from the health ministry. They would be the first fatal cases among more than 600 confirmed on the ship. — AFP

February 20, 2020

China announces biggest drop in new virus cases in almost a month. 

February 20, 2020

The death toll from China's new coronavirus epidemic jumped to 2,112 on Thursday after 108 more people died in Hubei province, the hard-hit epicentre of the outbreak.

Most of the deaths were in the provincial capital Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December, according to the daily update from the Hubei health commission.

More than 74,500 people have now been infected with the new coronavirus nationwide.

Hubei health officials said there had been 615 new cases in Wuhan and 13 more elsewhere in the province. — AFP

February 19, 2020

The health ministry says an additional 79 cases of coronavirus have been discovered aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, bringing the total to 621.

The new figures come as an initial batch of passengers began disembarking after enduring a 14-day quarantine and then testing negative for the virus. — AFP

February 19, 2020

The first Filipino crew member of Japanese cruise ship Diamond Princess, who tested positive for COVID-19, has recovered from the deadly virus.

The Department of Foreign Affairs, together with the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, confirmed that the Filipino patient has been successfully treated and will be discharged Wednesday.

A total of 40 other Filipinos infected by the virus remain in medical facilities in and around the Tokyo Metropolitan area.

"The Embassy is in touch with those who have been admitted to the hospitals in order to ensure their well-being and to provide them any assistance they need," the DFA said.

February 19, 2020

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. orders the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo to immediately repatriate Filipino nationals aboard Japanese cruise ship Diamond Princess.

"It's our duty to take care [of] our Overseas Filipinos wherever they are. I want them home now!" Locsin tweeted.

 

 

February 19, 2020

An elderly Hong Kong man who contracted the new coronavirus died on Wednesday, authorities announce, the second fatality from the outbreak in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.  

"A 70-year-old male patient who was infected with the novel coronavirus deteriorated and succumbed in Princess Margaret Hospital this morning," the Hospital Authority says in a statement.

Officials say the man was taken to hospital on 12 February after a fall at home. He had a fever and tested positive for the virus, dying a week later. — AFP

February 19, 2020

Filipino workers returning to Hong Kong and Macau will be required to sign a declaration stating that they are aware of the risks involved amid the Coronavirus Disease outbreak.

The DFA said newly-hired Filipino workers will also be exempted from the travel ban as long as they sign the form that can be obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

"Aside from the travel ban exemption for OFWs, the recent resolution also allowed permanent residents of the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions and Filipinos leaving to study abroad, to travel to Hong Kong and Macau," the DFA said Wednesday.

February 19, 2020

The death toll from China's new coronavirus epidemic jumped past 2,000 on Wednesday after 136 more people died, with the number of new cases falling for a second straight day, according to the National Health Commission.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China to 74,185.

The death toll rose to 2,004, with most of the deaths in central Hubei province, where the virus first emerged in December before spiralling into a nationwide epidemic.

In its daily update, the National Health Commission reported 1,749 new cases of people infected with the virus nationwide, the lowest number of new cases this month. — AFP

February 18, 2020

The health ministry says an additional 88 people have tested positive for coronavirus on a quarantined cruise ship off the Japan coast.

The new cases came from a total of 681 fresh results, the ministry said, taking the total number of positive cases on the Diamond Princess to 542. — AFP

February 18, 2020

AirAsia announces flights between the Philippines and Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan will resume soon with the Philippines' travel ban on Taiwan lifted.

February 18, 2020

 Malacañang says Filipino migrant workers can now return to their jobs in Hong Kong and Macau.

“Those OFWs going back would have to make written declaration that they know the risk of going back to their place of work,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo says.

February 18, 2020

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay announces that the travel ban for Filipino workers returning to Hong Kong and Macau has been lifted.

Dulay tweeted that the OFWs returning for work in these areas will be exempted from the outbound travel ban by the Department of Health's Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

 

 

February 18, 2020

Officials have launched Task Force NCov, covering Lamitan City, to enforce measures preventing the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus or COVID-19 in its barangays.

Basilan Gov. Jim Salliman and Lamitan City Mayor Rose Furigay have agreed to cooperate in overseeing the operation of the task force, according to separate statements on Tuesday by their respective offices. — The STAR/John Unson

February 18, 2020

The death toll from China's new coronavirus epidemic jumped past 1,800 on Tuesday after 93 more people died in Hubei province, the hard-hit epicentre of the outbreak.

In its daily update, the province's health commission also reported 1,807 new cases, a smaller number of infections compared to those declared on Monday.

The new cases mean more than 72,300 people have now been affected across the country.

Most of the cases are in Hubei, where the virus first emerged in December before spiralling into a nationwide epidemic.

Tuesday's jump in the death toll was also lower than the increase reported Monday, bringing the national number of deaths to 1,863. — AFP

February 17, 2020

Organizers cancel Tokyo marathon for 38,000 amateur runners over virus — AFP

February 17, 2020

An additional 99 people have tested positive for coronavirus on a cruise ship off the Japan coast, Japanese media said Monday, citing new figures from the health ministry.

That would take the total number of positive cases on the Diamond Princess to 454. The health ministry declined to confirm the reports immediately. — AFP

February 17, 2020

More than a dozen infected Americans from a coronavirus-riddled cruise ship off Japan flew on evacuation flights to the US with other passengers on Monday, as the epidemic claimed more lives in China to take the death toll above 1,700.

The COVID-19 virus has infected more than 70,500 people in its epicentre of China and sparked panic buying, economic jitters and the cancellation of high-profile sporting and cultural events.

With fresh cases emerging daily in Japan, the government has advised citizens to avoid mass gatherings, and on Monday cancelled celebrations for the Emperor's birthday — an annual jamboree that sees thousands of well-wishers descend on central Tokyo.— AFP

February 17, 2020

The Department of Health in a briefing says 453 patients under investigation have since tested negative for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

It also says that 221 of the 280 contacts??—people who may have come into contact with?—the first confirmed COVID-19 cases have completed the 14-day quarantine period.

February 17, 2020

Sixteen more Filipinos onboard Japanese cruise ship Diamond Princess tested positive for COVID-19 as of February 15. This brings the total number of infected Filipinos to 27.

The Japanese Health Ministry is set to tes all crew and passengers aboard the ship Monday so that results will be available by the end of the quarantine period.

"The Embassy is in close coordination with the relevant Philippine and Japanese government agencies, and representatives of the World Health Organization and Princess Cruises to ensure that the needs of the Filipino crew and passengers are met and to facilitate their return to the Philippines," the DFA said.

February 17, 2020

The death toll from China's new coronavirus epidemic jumped past 1,700 on Monday after 100 more people died in hard-hit Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak.

In its daily update, the province's health commission also reported 1,933 new cases.

At least 70,400 people have now been infected nationwide.

Most are in Hubei, where the virus first emerged in December before spiralling into a nationwide epidemic.

The number of new cases in the province had been declining since a large spike last week when officials changed their criteria for counting cases to include people diagnosed through lung imaging.

Monday's figures were around 100 higher than those on Sunday but still sharply down on those from Friday and Saturday. — AFP

February 16, 2020

The number of people infected with the deadly new coronavirus on a quarantined ship off Japan has risen to 355, the country's health minister said Sunday, as the United States, Canada and Hong Kong prepare to repatriate their residents on board.

The figure is a jump of 70 cases from a government tally released Saturday and comes as Katsunobu Kato voiced worries that the rising infection count among the nation's general population could mean the virus's spread has entered a new phase.

"So far, we have conducted tests for 1,219 individuals. Of those, 355 people tested positive," Kato told a roundtable discussion for public broadcaster NHK on conditions aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. — AFP

February 16, 2020

The death toll from China's coronavirus epidemic jumped past 1,600 on Sunday after 139 more people died in hard-hit Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.

In its daily update, the province's health commission also reported 1,843 fresh cases — the third day that reported new infections declined in the province.

At least 1,662 people have now died from the outbreak that first emerged in Hubei's capital, Wuhan, in December and spiralled into a nationwide epidemic.

More than 68,000 people have now been infected, with most deaths occurring in Hubei. — AFP

February 15, 2020

France announces first coronavirus death outside Asia. 

February 15, 2020

Japan's health minister says another 67 people on board a cruise ship quarantined off the country's coast have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The new cases, from 217 tests, bring the number of people diagnosed on the Diamond Princess to 285, excluding a quarantine officer who also contracted the illness. — AFP

February 15, 2020

Egypt's health ministry announces the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in Africa.

The sufferer was not Egyptian, the ministry says in a statement, without specifying the nationality. — AFP

February 15, 2020

The death toll from China's new coronavirus epidemic surged past 1,500 after 143 more people died in the country, according to official data.

The National Health Commission also reports 2,641 new cases of the COVID-19 strain, with the vast majority in hard-hit central Hubei province. — AFP

February 14, 2020

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen thanks the Philippine government for lifting the travel ban on Taiwan.

"The Philippines is one of our closest neighbors," she says in a statement.

"We will continue to promote bilateral exchanges and understanding. In particular, I would like to say to my Filipino friends working, studying and traveling to Taiwan that Taiwan will work hard to stop [the] Wuhan pneumonia," the Taiwanese leader added.

February 14, 2020

Olympic chiefs admit they face a "very big communications job" to soothe concerns over the coronavirus epidemic in the run-up to this summer's Tokyo Games.

The head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) coordination commission insists there was no danger of Tokyo 2020 being cancelled or moved, despite fears over the fast-spreading virus which has killed nearly 1,400 and infected around 64,000 -- most of them in China. — AFP

February 14, 2020

The Philippine government announces that it has lifted its travel ban against Taiwan.

February 14, 2020

China says 6 health workers died from virus, 1,716 infected,

February 14, 2020

The new coronavirus outbreak could mean a reduction of $4-5 billion in worldwide airline revenue, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) says. 

The UN agency reported that 70 airlines have canceled all international flights in and out of China and 50 others have reduced their operations. — AFP 

February 14, 2020

Passengers on a cruise ship that was turned away from ports around Asia over fears they could be carrying the new coronavirus finally begins disembarking in Cambodia.

Cambodia's strongman premier Hun Sen welcomed around 100 tourists who were handed flowers as they stepped ashore after an uncertain two weeks at sea. — AFP

February 14, 2020

The death toll from China's coronavirus epidemic rose to 1,483 on Friday but the number of new infections in hard-hit Hubei province fell after a change in case definitions caused a massive increase the previous day.

The central province's health commission reported 116 more deaths and 4,823 new cases, the majority involving "clinically diagnosed" patients.

The province, the epicentre of the outbreak, had 242 more deaths and over 14,800 new cases on Thursday.

More than 64,600 people have now been infected in the country.

Health officials in Hubei said they started to count clinically diagnosed cases to ensure that patients get treated as early as possible instead of having to wait for laboratory tests to confirm they have the COVID-19 disease.

But the change raised concerns that the crisis may be more serious than Chinese authorities have reported. — AFP

February 13, 2020

Japan announces first death of person infected with COVID-19. 

February 13, 2020

All the 11 Filipinos from Japanese cruise ship Diamond Princess who tested positive for COVID-19 are confined in various hospitals in and around the Tokyo area, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

As of Thursday, there are no Filipinos included in the new group of 44 persons who tested positive for the deadly virus.

"The Philippine Embassy in Tokyo is in regular communication with the Filipinos in the hospitals and note that they are responding well to treatment," the DFA said.

Filipinos who are in hospital and those who remain onboard the Japanese cruise ship are receiving care packages containing toiletries and non-medical supplies from the Philippine Embassy in coordination with the Japanese government.

February 13, 2020

China has demoted the director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, the State Council sayw Thursday, following months of pro-democracy protests in the semi-autonomous city. 

Zhang Xiaoming was re-appointed as a deputy director of the office, and will be replaced by Xia Baolong as director, who is secretary-general of China's top political advisory body. — AFP

February 13, 2020

Japan's health minister says another 44 people on board a cruise ship moored off Japan's coast have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato says the 44 new cases were detected from another 221 new tests. They raise the number of infections detected on the Diamond Princess to 218, in addition to a quarantine officer who also tested positive for the virus. — AFP

February 13, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte called on the Filipino nation to remain calm and stay vigilant amid the threat of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease or COVID-19. 

"The government, together with World Health Organization, medical societies and partners in private sector, is addressing the challenge and preparing for any eventuality," Duterte said in a recorded video message.

The president noted that there are only three confirmed cases of the virus in the country, none of whom are Filipino nationals. He also stressed that there is no evidence yet of local transmission in the Philippines.

February 12, 2020

The Chinese Grand Prix scheduled for April 19 has been postponed because of the "continued spread" of the deadly coronavirus, motorsport's governing body FIA announces.

FIA says promotors of the Shanghai race had requested a postponement "in view of the continued spread of novel coronavirus," now named COVID-19. — AFP

February 12, 2020

The coronavirus crisis, which has already battered oil prices, threatens to further undercut Gulf economies battling a downturn and struggling to wean themselves from a decades-old energy addiction.

The six Gulf states -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates -- count China as their main trading partner and crude buyer, which soaks up about a fifth of their oil.

But China's energy demand has sagged as authorities lock down millions of people in several cities to prevent the spread of the disease, now named COVID-19, that has killed more than 1,100 people so far. — AFP

February 12, 2020

The Department of Health says in an afternoon briefing on Wednesday, February 12, that it has listed 408 Patients Under Investigation for possible COVID-19 infection.

COVID-19 is the new and official World Health Organization name for the novel coronavirus previously referred to as 2019-nCoV.

Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo says of that the number, 238 have been admitted to hospitals and 165 have been discharged.

February 12, 2020

An additional 39 people on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the Japan coast have tested positive for the new coronavirus, Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato says, bringing the total to 174.

"Out of 53 new test results, 39 people were found positive," he tells reporters, adding that a quarantine official had also been infected with the virus.

He adds that: "At this point, we have confirmed that four people, among those who are hospitalised, are in a serious condition, either on a ventilator or in an intensive care unit." — AFP

February 12, 2020

The number of fatalities from China's new coronavirus epidemic jumped to 1,110 nationwide on Wednesday after hard-hit Hubei province reported 94 new deaths.

In its daily update, Hubei's health commission also confirmed another 1,638 new cases in the central province, where the outbreak emerged in December.

There are now more than 44,200 confirmed cases across China, based on previously released figures from the government.

The new virus is believed to have emerged last year in a market that sells wild animals in Hubei's capital Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak.

The virus was officially named "COVID-19" at a conference in Geneva held by the World Health Organization, where the body's chief said countries had a chance of stopping its global spread. — AFP

February 11, 2020

The World Health Organization warns the novel coronavirus was a "very grave threat" for the world as he opened a conference to combat the epidemic.

"With 99% of cases in China, this remains very much an emergency for that country, but one that holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says in Geneva. — AFP

February 11, 2020

China tightens restrictions at the locked-down epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, forbidding feverish people in Wuhan from visiting hospitals outside of their home districts.

The measure comes a day after authorities sealed off residential compounds in the central city, where the deadly novel coronavirus is believed to have originated in a market selling wild animals.  

Wuhan has been under effective quarantine since January 23 when the government suspended transport links out of the city in a bid to contain the virus, which has so far killed 1,016 people and infected more than 42,600 across China. — AFP

February 11, 2020

The number of confirmed infections in China's coronavirus outbreak has reached 42,638 nationwide with nearly 2,500 new cases reported, the National Health Commission said Tuesday.

In its daily update, the commission said there had been 108 new deaths from the virus — with 103 in hardest-hit Hubei province — bringing the national toll to 1,016 fatalities. — AFP

February 11, 2020

Employers should consider allowing their workers to work remotely amid the risk posed by the novel coronavirus, Sen. Risa Hontiveros says in a press statement.

"Para sa mga empleyadong pwede namang ‘work from home,’ dapat may ganoong option (There should be an option for employees who can 'work from home' to do so)," Hontiveros says. 

"Kung hindi naman kailangang mag-commute ang empleyado araw-araw, mas mapapangalagaan ang kalusugan nila kapag pwedeng magtrabaho sa bahay," she adds.

(If the employee can avoid commuting every day, they can take care of their health better if they can work from home)

She also calls on employers to provide workers with necessary protective measures in the workplace like access to running water, soap, alcohol and hand sanitizer.

"Lalung-lalo na sa mga empleyadong nasa frontline at nasa maraming tao, kailangang i-provide ng kumpanya ang mga mahahalagang gamit kagaya ng mask at alcohol," she also says.

(Especially for those on the frontline and who work in crowded places, the company should provide essential protective measures like masks and alcohol)

February 11, 2020

The ban on arrivals from China, Hong Kong and Macau now includes Taiwan, the Bureau of Immigration announces late Monday night.

"We have confirmed with the Department of Justice, which is our mother department, that Taiwan is indeed included in the expanded travel ban," Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente says in a release.

Arrivals from places included in the ban who are not Filipinos or permanent residents will be turned away. Filipinos and permanent residents are subject to screening by the Bureau of Quarantine.

Filipinos will not be allowed to leave for the places included in the travel ban.

February 10, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs, through the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, confirms that four other Filipinos aboard the Diamond Princess tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Sunday, February 9, media reports say.

They are now undergoing treatment in Japan.

February 10, 2020

The Department of Health advises the public "to avoid attending, participating in, and organizing events that draw a huge number of attendees" in light of the risk of the 2019 novel coronavirus.

"To further minimize the risk of contracting 2019-nCoV [Acute Respiratory Disease], the public is advised to avoid crowded places and continue to practice self-protection measures," the DOH says in a statement signed by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

February 10, 2020

The number of confirmed infections in China's coronavirus outbreak has reached 40,171 nationwide with more than 3,000 new cases reported, the National Health Commission said Monday.

In its daily update, the commission said there had been 97 new deaths from the virus -- with 91 in hardest-hit Hubei province -- bringing the national toll to 908. -- AFP

February 10, 2020

The number of confirmed infections in China's coronavirus outbreak has reached 40,171 nationwide with more than 3,000 new cases reported, the National Health Commission said Monday.

In its daily update, the commission said there had been 97 new deaths from the virus -- with 91 in hardest-hit Hubei province -- bringing the national toll to 908. -- AFP

February 10, 2020

The number of confirmed infections in China's coronavirus outbreak has reached 40,171 nationwide with more than 3,000 new cases reported, the National Health Commission said Monday.

In its daily update, the commission said there had been 97 new deaths from the virus -- with 91 in hardest-hit Hubei province -- bringing the national toll to 908. — AFP

February 9, 2020

Capas, Tarlac Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan assures his constituents that he will "not relent in looking after every Capaseños welfare" as Filipinos repatriated from Wuhan are brought to a quarantine site in New Clark City.

New Clark City is in Capas but is under the jurisdiction of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

Residents had opposed keeping the repatriates in New Clark City, citing concerns that Capas would be exposed to the risk of infection from the novel coronavirus.

Local officials said they had not been consulted on the decision to have the repatriates stay in Capas.

Catacutan says the town should "heed the call of the bigger picture" and just cooperate with government.

February 9, 2020

The number of confirmed infections in China's coronavirus outbreak has reached 37,198 nationwide with more than 2,600 new cases reported, the National Health Commission said Sunday.

In its daily update, the commission said there had been 89 new deaths from the virus — with 81 in hardest-hit Hubei province, and the rest in other regions -- bringing the national toll to 811. — Agence France-Presse

February 9, 2020

A repatriation flight for Filipinos in Hubei province in China arrived in the Philippines on Sunday morning in a chartered flight.

DFA Philippines?@DFAPHL

Congrats to the repatriation team from DFA (Rowell Casaclang, Richard Delos Santos, Abdul Rahman Pacasum, Mark Anthony Geguera & Sanny Darren Bejarin) and @DOHgov (Dr. Neptali Labasan, Dr. Oliver Ray Macalinao, Rowell Divinagracia, Elmer Collong & Jose Juan)! ????????????

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The returning Filipinos, who will be put under a mandatory 14-day quarantine, were brought back to the Philippines by a team from the Foreign Affairs and Health departments.

They will be housed at the Athletes' Village in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.

Those showing symptoms of novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease will be brought to hospitals instead of the quarantine area.

February 8, 2020

Anxious Singapore shoppers form long lines at grocery stores and clear the shelves of essential items, after the city-state raised its alert level over China's coronavirus outbreak.

Since emerging late last year, the virus has killed over 700 people and infected more than 34,000 in China, and spread to many other countries.

Singapore, which has reported 33 cases, raised its alert level Friday to "orange" -- the same as during the deadly 2003 SARS outbreak, indicating the virus is severe and passes easily between people. — AFP

February 8, 2020

Health authorities in Abra say three women who travaled from Hong Kong are being probe for novel coronavirus infection.

Abra provincial health officer Dr. Maria Cristina Valera-Cabrera says the three women, considered persons under investigation, showed mild symptoms of nCov.

February 8, 2020

A Filipino tested positive for 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory or 2019-nCoV ARD disease in the United Arab Emirates, according to government-run media in the Gulf state.

The Emirates News Agency reports two confirmed cases of the virus: one Filipino and one Chinese national, bringing the total number of nCoV cases in the Philippines to seven.

February 8, 2020

A Japanese man with a suspected coronavirus infection has died in hospital in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the Japanese foreign ministry says.

The man in his 60s had been hospitalised due to severe pneumonia and the hospital reported his death to the Japanese embassy in China, the ministry says in a statement. — AFP

February 8, 2020

US citizen dies of coronavirus in Wuhan: embassy

February 8, 2020

US President Donald Trump says that China is doing a "very professional job" in combating the coronavirus epidemic.

Trump says that he discussed the crisis with President Xi Jinping in a "very good" phone call late Thursday.

"We talked about, mostly about the coronavirus. They're working really hard and I think they're doing a very professional job," he tells reporters at the White House.

Trump says the United States and China were "working together" on the issue. "I think that China will do a very good job." — AFP

February 7, 2020

Hong Kong Airlines says it has been forced to slash hundreds of jobs and ask remaining staff to take unpaid leave as the coronavirus outbreak compounds problems at the already-struggling firm.

The announcement by the city's number two carrier comes days after Cathay Pacific said it had asked all its 27,000 workforce to take three weeks leave without salary between March and June because of collapsing demand caused by the health crisis.

The virus, which has infected 24 people, one of whom died, comes just as the city was struggling to recover from months of sometimes violent protests that battered the economy and gutted the key tourism sector. — AFP

February 7, 2020

The Department of Health says the 38-year-old Chinese woman who was the country's first case of 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease is recovering as she tested negative for the virus. 

The agency says there is a need for a second test before the patient can be discharged. 

February 7, 2020

The first Filipina worker quarantined in Hong Kong tested negative for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease (2019-nCoV ARD).

The Department of Foreign Affairs announced that the Filipina domestic worker has been issued a bill of health and has been discharged by the Hong Kong Department of Health.

"She is now resting in her employer's home which has been thoroughly sanitized by the Hong Kong Department of Health," the DFA said Friday.

February 7, 2020

The number of patients under investigation for the novel coronavirus in the Philippines has risen to 215 as of February 7.

The Department of Health 184 are currently admitted and isolated, none refused admission and 17 have been discharged under strict monitoring.

Another patient under investigation died yesterday due to pneumonia but the DOH noted that the patient had an "underlying lung disease".

February 7, 2020

China announces investigation after whistleblower doctor dies. 

February 7, 2020

The White House says US President Donald Trump expressed his "confidence" in China's ability to tackle the novel coronavirus epidemic during talks with his Beijing counterpart Xi Jinping.

Trump "expressed confidence in China's strength and resilience in confronting the challenge of the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak," the White House says in a statement.

"The two leaders agreed to continue extensive communication and cooperation between both sides," it says, following reports in Chinese state media that the two had spoken on the phone about the matter. — AFP

February 7, 2020

Japan's health minister says another 41 people on a cruise ship quarantined off Japan have the new coronavirus, confirming more on board will now be tested for the illness. — AFP

February 7, 2020

Capas Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan has appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to consider another facility as isolation areas for suspected novel coronavirus patients.

The mayor said the local government was not consulted in the decision of the Department of Health to use the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac as quarantine zone for Filipinos that will be repatriated from China.

"While it is true that I, as a Filipino, am in favor of the repatriation of OFWs from the province of Hubei, China, I feel perturbed by the fact that Department of Health did not at all, in any way, involve the Capas LGU in its last-minute decision for New Clark City Capas to be used as quarantine zone for these Persons under Monitoring," Catacutan said in a statement.

February 7, 2020

The Filipina household worker who died in Dubai died of pneumonia and tested negative for novel coronavirus, the Dubai government's media office said.

"[Dubai Media Office] denies false statements attributed to the Philippine Labour Secretary regarding a Filipina dying in Dubai due to the coronavirus," the Dubai Media office said on Twitter.

February 7, 2020

The number of total confirmed infections in China from the coronavirus epidemic has climbed to 31,161, the government said on Friday.

The number grew after 3,143 new infections were reported, the National Health Commission said in its daily update. — AFP

February 7, 2020

Another 41 people on board a cruise ship off Japan's coast have tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus, local media including national broadcaster NHK said on Friday.

The new cases raise to 61 the number of people on the Diamond Princess so far diagnosed with the new virus, which has killed more than 600 people — most of them in mainland China where the strain emerged. — AFP

February 7, 2020

The number of confirmed deaths in China from the new-coronavirus outbreak rose on Friday to at least 630 after hard-hit Hubei province reported 69 new fatalities.

In its daily update, Hubei's health commission also confirmed another 2,447 new cases in the province, where the epidemic originated. — AFP

February 6, 2020

There are have now been 178 Patients Under Investigation for potential novel coronavirus infection.

Of those, 48 have tested negative, another 127 are pending test results.

Three were positive, one of whom has died.

Another had returned to China before her sample tested positive after a different sample tested negative.

Of the PUIs, 147 are isolated in hospitals10 have refused admission and 16 have been discharged.

February 6, 2020

Part of New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac will be used as a quarantine facility for Filipinos in Hubei province, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III says in a press conference.

The government has initially eyed the use of the massive drug rehabilitation center in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija as the quarantine area, and the Palace has announced that this was where the repatriated Filipinos would stay.

February 6, 2020

Workers making iPhones at tech giant Foxconn's plant in central China will be quarantined for up to two weeks, the company says, as cities on the mainland tighten their defenses against the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Also known by its official name Hon Hai Precision Industry, Foxconn is the world's biggest contract electronics maker and assembles Apple's iPhones as well as gadgets for other international brands.

Foxconn's vast network of factories in China, including one of its largest in Zhengzhou in central Henan province which is dubbed "iPhone City" by workers, are set to resume operations on February 10 after an extended Lunar New Year holiday caused by the outbreak. — AFP

February 6, 2020

Panic buyers in Hong Kong have descended on supermarkets to snap up toilet rolls as the government warned that online rumours of shortages were hampering the city's fight against a deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Videos obtained by AFP showed long queues of frantic shoppers packing trolleys with multiple packets of toilet rolls, with some arguments breaking out. — AFP

February 6, 2020
China is now doing what it does best when it wants to control narratives. Authorities are now clamping down on news coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak, The New York Times reported.

The move may end the Chinese public's expressions of frustration over their government's handling of the crisis.

February 6, 2020

The number of confirmed infections in China's coronavirus outbreak has reached 28,018 nationwide with 3,694 new cases reported, the National Health Commission said Thursday.

In its daily update, the commission said there had been 73 new deaths from the virus -- most of them in hardest-hit Hubei province, with three in other regions — bringing the national toll to 563. (AFP)

February 6, 2020

The third case of the novel coronavirus—a 60-year-old woman who was discharged and who went back to China—had tested negative for 2019-nCoV and was well when she was discharged from the hospital, the Department of Health says.

Speaking on ANC's "Early Edition", DOH spokesperson Eric Domingo says the woman had stayed in the hospital until January 31.

Her case was discovered when the government-run Research Institute for Tropical Medicine set up testing in the Philippines and tested pending patients as well as other samples.

"All of the tests were negative except the January 23rd sample from this patient."

The previous test had been on a sample taken on January 24.

February 5, 2020

Airbus has closed its aircraft production facility in Tianjin outside the Chinese capital Beijing due to the latest coronavirus outbreak, the aviation giant says.

"China domestic and worldwide travel restrictions are posing some logistical challenges. The Tianjin Final Assembly Line facility is currently closed," Airbus says in a statement.

The Tianjin facility, the first of its kind for Airbus outside Europe, is a completion centre for single aisle A320 aircraft and can also handle the larger A330. — AFP

February 5, 2020

The provincial government of Zamboanga Sibugay has canceled activities planned for its founding anniversary to ensure public safety over the threat of the novel coronavirus.

Gov. Wilter Palma issued a memorandum order following an emergency meeting Wednesday with the Provincial Health Board, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and executive committee of the Provincial Development Council that recommended the cancellation of all activities for the anniversary.

The province had slated a long list of activities in weeklong festivities that would have run from February 17 to February 24. The anniversary marks the founding of the province 19 years ago from what used to be the third district of Zamboanga del Sur. — The STAR/Roel Pareño

February 5, 2020

A Filipino is one of the 10 passengers on a cruise ship that Japan quarantined who tested positive for the new coronavirus.

February 5, 2020

The Department of Health confirms third case of novel coronavirus in the Philippines. 

The agency says a sample from a 60-year-old Chinese woman tested postive of the 2019-nCoV. She has returned to China but the DOH has initiated tracing of those she was in contact with.

February 5, 2020

The number of confirmed infections in China's coronavirus outbreak has reached 24,324 nationwide with 3,887 new cases reported, the National Health Commission said Wednesday.

In its daily update, the commission said there had been 65 new deaths from the virus — all in hardest-hit Hubei province, bringing the national toll to 490. — AFP

February 5, 2020

At least 10 passengers on a cruise ship that Japan quarantined tested positive for the new coronavirus, public broadcaster NHK and other Japanese media reported on Wednesday, citing the health ministry.

Japan has quarantined the vessel carrying 3,711 people and was testing those onboard for the virus after a former passenger was diagnosed with the illness in Hong Kong. — AFP

February 4, 2020

Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo suspends classes in all levels in the province's public schools from Wednesday to Friday (February 5-7) as a precautionary measure to the nCoV threat.

Private schools, he says, may suspend classes upon the discretion of their school administrators.

February 4, 2020

Hundreds of empty beds lined an exhibition center converted into a makeshift hospital at the epicenter of China's deadly virus epidemic on Tuesday, awaiting coronavirus patients.

Authorities are scrambling to provide facilities, beds and medical treatment for an influx of sick people in Wuhan in central Hubei province, the ground-zero of China's fight against the virus. — AFP

February 4, 2020

A South Korean woman who recently visited Thailand was confirmed Tuesday as having the deadly new virus sweeping China, Seoul's health authorities say.

The virus first appeared in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, and has infected more than 20,000 people, killing 425 and spreading to more than two dozen countries.

The latest confirmed case brought South Korea's total number of patients to 16. — AFP

February 4, 2020

The Department of Education is postponing planned national- and regional-level events in light of the risk posed by the novel coronavirus, Education Secretary Leonor Briones says.

"These will be the regional health meets, regional athletic meets, talent contests at the national level, so all the regions will gather in one place," she tells senators, noting that, for the Palarong Pambansa, for example, the DepEd is looking at "30,000 learners and parents and grandparents" whose health may be compromised.

February 4, 2020

Filipinos being repatriated by the Department of Foreign Affairs will arrive through Clark International Airport in Pampanga, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.  says.

"There are protocols for that. They are arriving in Clark and they will be brought to quarantine facilities," he says.

The Bureau of Immigration announced last week that a special team will handle the returning Filipinos, particularly to verify their identities since terrorists may be using the health emergency to infiltrate the country.

Locsin raises the problem faced by Overseas Filipino Workers who will not be allowed to fly back to Hong Kong because of the government's ban on Filipinos going to China, Macau, and Hong Kong.

February 4, 2020

Macau says it will temporarily close down all casinos as the gambling hub battles the deadly coronavirus, cutting off the lifeblood of the city's economy.

The move came as the former Portuguese colony confirmed its tenth confirmed case of the virus, which has killed more than 400 people in China, infected tens of thousands and spread to more than 20 countries.

Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng, a pro-Beijing appointee who took office in December, says the gambling industry would initially shutter for two weeks but he warned the closures could be extended if the virus continued to spread. — AFP 

February 4, 2020

The most significant economic impact of the 2019-nCoV outbreak will likely be centered on the tourism sector, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez says at the Senate hearing, noting the travel and tourism industry is taking a hit globally.

He says tourism to the Philippines dropped 1.3% to 1.9 million arrivals in 2003 from 1.93 million in 2002 due to the SARS outbreak.

But in 2004, tourist arrivals rebounded quickly to 2.3 million, growing steadily until the H1N1 outbreak in 2009 that brought a slight decrease in arrivals.

February 4, 2020

Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, World Health Organization country representative, acknowledges that the WHO did not recommend any trade or travel restrictions over the threat posed by the novel coronavirus.

"[H]owever, this recommendation is not binding because countries are sovereign to make decisions based on the travel patterns with the affected country and based on its health system capacity to deal with the possible threat," he says.

He adds the WHO encourages member-states to inform it of travel and trade restrictions to let other countries know about them and minimize the disruption of travel and trade. 

In his opening statement, Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go praised President Rodrigo Duterte and pointed out that WHO had not even recommended a travel ban.

February 4, 2020

Who is affected?

  • About 70% of cases are among people above 40
  • 64% of cases have been males
  • About 40% had some underlying pre-existing medical condition (oftentimes diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diease or cancer)

Who dies?

  • Death rate is now at 2%, down from 3%.
  • The death rate is now going down because we are testing more people who are mildly affected, have mild symptoms, Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, country representative of the World Health Organization, says at a Senate hearing.
  • 88% are over 60 years of age, with a median age of 75 years. 
  • 76% of cases are among males
  • 70% had pre-existing medical conditions
  • The age range of fatalities is 48-89 years old with a mean age of 75
  • Dr. Abeyasinghe notes the patient who died in the Philippines on Saturday was 44 years old.
February 4, 2020

A 39-year-old man in Hong Kong who was being treated for the novel coronavirus has died, medical authorities confirms, the first fatality connected to the illness in the financial hub and only the second outside of mainland China. 

A spokesman for the Hospital Authority says the victim was a resident of Hong Kong who travelled to the Chinese city of Wuhan -- the epicenter of the outbreak -- on January 21 and who returned to the financial hub two days later. — AFP

February 4, 2020

The Parañaque City government will check on employees of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) in its jurisdiction to check for nCov Acute Respiratory Disease symptoms,  Metro Manila Development Authority General Manager Jojo Garcia says.

Garcia, speaking on CNN Philippines, also says that most cities in Metro Manila have isolation tents for patients suspected of having been infected by the novel coronavirus.

February 4, 2020

The number of total infections in China's coronavirus outbreak has passed 20,400 nationwide with 3,235 new cases confirmed, the National Health Commission said Tuesday.

In its daily update, the commission said there had been 64 new deaths from the virus — all in hardest-hit Hubei province, bringing the national toll to 425. — AFP

February 4, 2020

The number of confirmed deaths from China's coronavirus outbreak spikes to 425, after authorities in Hubei province reported 64 new fatalities Tuesday.

In its daily update, figures from the health commission in Hubei, which has been hit hardest by the virus, also showed a sharp increase in confirmed infections with 2,345 new cases.

That puts the national total at 19,550, based on numbers previously issued by the central government. — AFP

February 3, 2020

President Duterte says there is no need to further expand the travel ban to include travelers from other countries affected by the novel coronavirus for now.

Currently, a temporary travel ban is in place, preventing entry of travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau, except Filipino citizens or those holding Philippine permanent resident visas. The move was made to prevent the virus from spreading.

Earlier, a Philippine immigration official said that some 300 Chinese nationals are stranded in the country due to the travel ban.

 

 

Duterte also calls on the public to refrain from blaming the Chinese for the spread of the novel coronavirus.

February 3, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte convenes officials from government agencies on the frontlines of stemming the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country.

February 3, 2020

The World Health Organization releases a video explaining the origin, method of transmission, symptoms and prevention, among others, of the 2019 novel coronavirus.

WHO, however, adds that the 2019 nCoV ARD is a new virus and what is known about it now may change in the future.

February 3, 2020

There are six people in isolation at the Jose B. Lingad General Memorial Hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga, Central Luzon Television 36 reports.

Quoting Dr. Monserrat Chichioco, hospital director, CLTV36 says the six Persons Under Investigation have been admitted to the hospital's isolation facility "for monitoring of possible symptoms of the 2019-nCoV." 

February 3, 2020

The Department of Health says in a press briefing that there are now 80 patients under investigation for a possible infection of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) acute respiratory disease.

Of the PUIs, 67 are in isolation in hospitals.

The PUIs include patients found through contact tracing, or the tracing of the people who may have come in contact with the two Chinese nationals from Wuhan who have since been confirmed to have been infected with nCoV ARD. 

February 3, 2020

Filipinos in Hubei, China who want to be repatriated have until today, February 3, to get in touch with the Philippine consular officials in Shanghai, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ernesto Abella says in a Palace briefing.

He adds the repatriation flight, which will likely have a team of DFA and Department of Health quick response team, will leave for China within the week. The DOH has drafted its guidelines for the repatriation effort, he also sayd.

Abella says there have been no Filipinos confirmed to have been infected with the novel coronavirus of more than 295,000 Filipinos in mainland China.

February 3, 2020

Research Institute for Tropical Medicine Director Celia Carlos explains the criteria that health authorities use to determine  if someone is considered a Person Under Investigation for the novel coronavirus:

1. Fever of 38°C or higher
2. Respiratory infection
3. Travel within China and its SARs in the past 14 days
4. History of exposure to a person with nCoV

February 3, 2020

The Philippine National Police's medical personnel as well as its Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) team and equipment are on hand to help with the risk posed by 2019-nCoV, its chief, Police Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa, says in a press conference.

He says the personnel can help in the repatriation and quarantine of Filipinos from Wuhan and the rest of Hubei province in China.

"We are waiting for the Department of Health. Deployment of the Philippine National Police will depend on the DOH," he says.

"We're just presenting that we have personnel... this is for chemical warfare, but this can be used," he says of the CBRNE team.

"We also have medical doctors who can help with the repatriation. The [Armed Forces of the Philippines] and PNP commit our medicals doctors if need be," he says.

February 3, 2020

The ban on travelers arriving from China, including its Special Admnistrative Regions China and Macau, may be difficult to enforce across the country, Dr. Tony Leachon, a health reform advocate, says. 

"Situation in NAIA may not be replicated in other airports; our borders are porous," he says on ANC's "Headstart".

The Palace announced the ban on Sunday, the same day that a second case of novel coronavirus was confirmed and the death of a Chinese man from Wuhan over the weekend was disclosed to the public.

February 3, 2020

China's death toll from the coronavirus epidemic soared to 360 on Monday, with deepening global concern about the outbreak and governments closing their borders to people from China.

The fresh toll came a day after China imposed a lockdown on a major city far from the epicenter and the first fatality outside the country was reported in the Philippines. 

Authorities in Hubei, the province at the epicenter of the outbreak, reported 56 new fatalities. That took the toll in China to 360, exceeding the 349 mainland fatalities from the 2002-3 SARS outbreak.

Struggling to contain the virus, authorities took action in the eastern city of Wenzhou on Sunday, closing roads and confining people to their homes. — AFP

February 3, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to meet with medical experts and top officials today, according to an announcement last week by Sen. Bong Go, his longtime aide and de facto spokesperson.

The Department of Health and World Health Organization on Sunday confirmed a second case of novel coronavirus in the Philippines and the first death outside China from the 2019-nCoV Acute Respiratory Disease.

In a radio interview on dzBB on Monday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III says the case is imported, meaning the patient came from Wuhan, China.

He stresses there is no community transmission in the Philippines yet.

February 2, 2020

Cebu Pacific reveals the flights taken by the two Chinese passengers who tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the Philippines and assures the public that is working closely with health authorities in looking for the people who took the plane last January 21.

"We are in the process of contacting all passengers who were aboard the following flights last January 21, 2020: - 5J 241 (Hong Kong-Cebu) - DG 6519 (Cebu-Dumaguete)," Cebu Pacific says in a statement.

Passengers on the said flights who have not been contacted are requested to contact Cebu Pacific at +632 87020886 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. 

"We also advise them to seek immediate medical attention if they have flu-like symptoms such as coughing, colds and fever," it adds.

Cebu Pacific also canceled all its flights between the Philippines and mainland China until March 29, 2020 and reduced flights to and from Hong Kong and Macau due to outbreak.

February 2, 2020

As of Sunday noon, February 2, DOH recorded a total of 36 persons under investigation for the novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV ARD. Of this number, 23 are still admitted in hospitals while six were already discharged.

The Philippines has two confirmed cases of the disease with the second one resulting in death, the first one recorded outside of China.

DOH

February 2, 2020

Sen. Kiko Pangilinan welcomes the order of President Duterte extending the temporary travel ban to anyone coming from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau in order to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.

The senator adds that he wishes the order came much earlier as "hundreds of possible carriers have been able to enter the country in the last several days."

"... but better late than never," he adds.

"Now we can effectively focus our efforts on tracking all those who are suspected of being carriers and work on quarantine and isolation." 

February 2, 2020

The Department of Health confirms the second case of novel coronavirus in the Philippines.

The 44-year-old male companion of the first confirmed case in the Philippines, a 38-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, also tested positive for the virus. The man passed away on Saturday, February 1.

February 2, 2020

President Duterte orders a temporary ban on travelers coming from mainland China including its special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau, according to Sen. Bong Go. 

On Sunday, February 2, China's National Health Commission reported that the number of novel coronavirus infections in the country breached the 14,300 mark while the death toll climbed to 304.

— with The STAR/Paolo Romero

February 2, 2020

The number of infections in China's coronavirus outbreak has passed 14,300 nationwide with 2,590 new cases confirmed, the country's National Health Commission says.

In its daily update, the commission said there had been 45 new deaths from the virus — all in hardest-hit Hubei province, bringing the national toll to 304. — AFP

February 1, 2020

Vietnam has suspended all China flights as part of "strengthening measures" against the coronavirus outbreak, its civil aviation authority says in a statement.

The directive applies to all airlines "which have routes between Vietnam and China", it adds. — AFP

February 1, 2020

AirAsia suspends selected flights between the Philippines and China until March 1, 2020 amid the novel coronavirus epidemic.

Cancelled flights include from Manila and Kalibo to mainland China cities (Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Shanghai), Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR.

February 1, 2020

Smart Communications announces announces its customers in the Philippines may access the website of the Department of Health and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology free of charge amid the novela coronavirus scare and Taal rehabilitation.

February 1, 2020

The Australian government says it would bar non-citizens arriving from China from entering the country under new measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says only "Australian citizens, Australian residents, dependents, legal guardians or spouses" would be permitted into the country from China from Saturday.

"The arrangements are being put in place through our border authorities to ensure that that can be actioned," he adds. "Those that do return will be required to go into self isolation for 14 days." — AFP

February 1, 2020

The US says it was declaring a public health emergency and temporarily banning the entry of foreign nationals who had traveled to China over the past two weeks to contain the spread of a deadly new virus.

Sweeping new restrictions will also be imposed on American citizens, with those returning from the province at the disease's epicenter placed in facilities for mandatory 14-day quarantines, says Health Secretary Alex Azar.

US citizens coming from other parts of China will undergo health screening at ports of entry and then be placed under monitored self-quarantine at home. — AFP

February 1, 2020

The Philippine Military Academy says it will shut its gates for tourists for three weeks amid the threats of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease or 2019-nCoV ARD.

PMA Superintendent Vice Admiral Ferdinand Cusi communicated to the Defense department Friday afternoon the decision to close the Academy from the public following consultations and coordination with Baguio City officials, public health and disaster officials on the creation of a task force on nCoV. 

“In line with this and in the interest of the safety of the cadets, I decided to close the PMA to the general public for the next three (3) weeks except for the relatives of the cadets who can visit the cadets only on weekends,” Cusi says.

February 1, 2020

Air carrier Cebu Pacific says it will cancel all flights between the Philippines and mainland China starting February 2 until March 29, 2020 amid the novel coronavirus fears.

February 1, 2020

The Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. appeals to the public to stop spreading fake news about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease or 2019-nCoV ARD.

"We encourage the public to stay updated on government health advisories, cooperate with government efforts, be socially responsible by not sharing fake news or other unverified information, avoid expressing racist defamations," says physician Henry Lim Bon Liong, FFCCCII president.

"Spreading fake news and racist, xenophobic messages can be more dangerous than the virus itself due to their negative effects of causing confusion, fears, rancor and instability," he adds.

February 1, 2020

China virus deaths hit 259, infections surge past 11,000, says Chinese government.

January 31, 2020

British health officials say two people had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, in the country's first cases since the deadly outbreak emerged in China and spread globally this month.

The announcement came as Britain prepares to receive 87 of its citizens it has evacuated from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the epidemic which has so far killed 213 people.

With a growing number of cases reported in at least 19 other countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) on declares the SARS-like virus' spread an international public health emergency. — AFP

January 31, 2020

The Cultural Center of the Philippines cancels Pasinaya 2020?—its multi-arts festival?—that was originally scheduled for February 7 to 9 to protect public health and safety while health authorities deal with the risk of the novel coronavirus.

"As the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus as a public health emergency of international concern, we urge the Filipino people not to panic and remain calm," CCP artistic director Chris Millado says in an announcement.

"Let us work together to prevent the virus from spreading. Let us remain vigilant and keep safe."

January 31, 2020

A total of 18 South Korean evacuees who arrived from the Chinese city of Wuhan have been hospitalized after showing symptoms, Seoul's health authorities says, as concerns mount about a wider outbreak of the SARS-like virus.

A chartered plane carrying a total of 368 South Korean citizens arrived in the South from Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have emerged from an animal and seafood market, on Friday morning. 

Among them, 18 evacuees who are showing symptoms have been hospitalised at two medical facilities in Seoul, the country's vice health minister Kim Gang-lip says. — AFP

January 31, 2020

Cebu Pacific has pulled out aircraft used in flights that the patient confirmed to have been infected with the novel coronavirus was on, the airline says in an advisory.

"The cabin crew and pilots on affected flights have also been informed and show no symptoms of illness," it also says, adding it is contacting passengers who were in the vicinity of the patient, a 38-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan in Hubei, China.

Cebu Pacific adds it is implementing protective measures to ensure the safety of its passengers and crew. Among the measures are cleaning and disinfection of aircraft between flights and "wearing of face masks by our employees, frontline personnel and cabin crew while on duty."

January 31, 2020

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong calls off the opening parade of Baguio City's famed Panagbenga Festival over fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The city government heeded public calls to cancel the annual parade of flowers, a major street event showcasing local blooms and attracting foreign and local tourists. (2017 file photo by The STAR/Artemio Dumlao)

January 31, 2020

The Chinese government is to send charter planes to bring citizens from virus-hit Hubei province who are overseas back "as soon as possible", the foreign ministry says.

This is in view of "practical difficulties that Hubei citizens, especially those from Wuhan, have faced overseas", says ministry of foreign affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

The ministry's comments come as a number of airlines announced they were halting or reducing flights to China as the country struggles to contain the spread of a deadly new virus.

China has advised its citizens to postpone trips abroad and cancelled overseas group tours, while several countries including Germany, Britain and the US have urged their citizens to avoid travel to China. — AFP

January 31, 2020

"Upon the recommendation of [Health] Secretary Francisco Duque, the President has issued a travel ban to Chinese nationals coming from the Hubei province of China where the nCoV originated, as well in other places in China where there is a spread of the disease," presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo announces in a statement to media.

"It will last until the treat is over given that the safety of our countrymen is foremost in the President’s mind," he also says.

President Rodrigo Duterte is meeting with medical experts and top government officials next week to discuss the Novel Coronavirus.       
 

January 31, 2020

The number of patients under observation for suspected infection with the Novel Coronavirus is now at 56, up from 24 on Thursday. 

Dr. Ferchito Avelino, the Department of Health's epidemiology bureau head, tells CNN Philippines that more cases are being watched.
 

January 31, 2020

Drivers and conductors of public utility vehicles must wear face masks at all time while on duty, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board says in a memorandum circular dated January 30, 2020.

Terminal operators must also "ensure proper sanitation and cleanliness in their premises, provide face masks as well as disinfectant and sanitizer dispensers for free use of passengers." 

January 31, 2020

Following a meeting with the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee in Geneva on Thursday (Friday morning in Manila), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization has declared the Novel Coronavirus as a public health emergency of international concern.

It is a formal declaration that means that the novel virus first reported in Wuhan, China is a "public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response."

January 31, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte has agreed on a temporary ban on travelers from Wuhan City and the rest of Hubei province in China, his longtime aide and constant companion Sen. Bong Go says in a message to media.

The Palace and the Department of Health have yet to make similar announcements.

January 30, 2020

Russia closes its border with China to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. The country says it will stop issuing electronic visas to Chinese nationals. — AFP

January 30, 2020


Calls for a travel ban on people traveling from China mount as Sen. Risa Hontiveros calls for a 30-day ban in light of the first confirmed case in the Philippines—a 38-year-old woman from Wuhan in China.

"Our travel ban must firmly include both air and sea travel to prevent a local outbreak. This includes a temporary ban on all cruise ships from docking at any of our ports," she says.

"I also urge the Bureau of Quarantine to implement mandatory quarantine to all those who have just arrived from China, to remain vigilant and to study the safety measures of our neighboring countries with confirmed cases of nCoV."

Earlier, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto also urged a temporary travel ban.

January 30, 2020

The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority has ordered the suspension of all chartered flights from Macau and other parts of China to the Cagayan North International Airport in Lal-Lo, Cagayan.

CEZA administrator and CEO Raul Lambino said the suspension of all Macau/China-Lal-Lo flights is meant to prevent the spread of the 2019-nCoV.

The Philippine-registered Royal Air Charter Service Inc. has been operating the Macau-Lal-Lo route since August last year when the CNIA began its international chartered flights, transporting mostly Chinese tourists bound for various resorts destinations in Santa Ana, Cagayan. — The STAR / Victor Martin

January 30, 2020

If the World Health Organisation declares the 2019-nCoV epidemic a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, measures to curb the spread of the disease may include travel restrictions, Rabindra Abeyasinghe; WHO country representative in the Philippines, says in a press briefing with Department of Health officials.

He says the specific measures will depend on what member states will agree to, stressing "the aim of the declaration is to prevent the further spread of this disease and to control it as early as possible."

Citing the latest WHO figures of 6,065 cases and 132 deaths, Abeyasinghe says: "If you are looking at mortality, you're talking at less than 3% deaths. This is much lower than previous coronavirus infections."

January 30, 2020

The Department of Health confirms first case of 2019-nCoV in the Philippines.

January 30, 2020

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto is calling for a temporary ban on arrivals from China, pointing out that even the Chinese government is limiting travel within its own borders.

"Let us explain to them that we are not permanently closing our doors. This is not a permanent Great Wall. This is only during the duration of the coronavirus crisis," Recto says in a press release.

President Rodrigo Duterte and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III have said that closing the Philippines' borders to Chinese nationals would be complicated.

"Mahirap 'yang sabihin mo you suspend everything because they are not also suspending theirs and they continue to respect the freedom, flights that we enjoy in their country," GMA News Online quotes him as saying on Wednesday night.

The president also said "there is no known transmission from human to human from China."

On Thursday morning, the Chinese government said it had confirmed more than 1,000 more cases of nCoV infection. Most of the cases of infection of the disease, which has killed at least 169 people in China, were centered in Wuhan in Hubei province.

January 30, 2020

The whole Cordillera region and Ilocos Norte remain free of the novel coronavirus, local health officials say.

The reported cases in La Trinidad and Baguio City have been assessed by the health department in the Cordillera and found to not fit the criteria to be considered Persons Under Investigation, DOH-Cordillera says.

There are no Persons Under Investigation (PUI) in CAR as of this time, the DOH-Cordillera reiterated, though earlier, it admitted monitoring an individual from China who arrived in CAR on January 19 and two of his house mates for 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Dr. Janice Bugtong of DOH–CAR says the individual has no history of travel to Wuhan, China and did not have any known contact with individuals confirmed to have 2019-nCoV.

"Samples from the individual including two of his roommates were already sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine for testing. All are well and under quarantine."

— The STAR/Artemio Dumlao

January 30, 2020

Almost 200 US citizens evacuated from the Chinese city at the heart of the deadly coronavirus epidemic landed at a military base in California, where officials declared them free of symptoms.

But they will remain isolated in their quarters for a period of up to 72 hours while they are monitored, and have been asked to submit samples to test for the presence of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

A chartered Boeing 747 touched down at the March Air Reserve Base in Riverside on Wednesday morning, where it was met on the tarmac by emergency vehicles and three buses, as personnel in biological hazard suits stood by. — AFP

January 30, 2020

Three Japanese citizens among more than 200 on a first evacuation flight from China have tested positive for a new strain of coronavirus, Japan's health minister says.

The three people arrived in Japan on Wednesday, on the first flight to evacuate Japanese citizens from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of a deadly outbreak that has killed 170 people and injected thousands.

The three evacuees raise the number of cases in Japan so far to 11, including two people who appear to have contracted the virus without travelling to China.

January 30, 2020

The number of confirmed deaths from China's viral epidemic has risen to 169, the government says on Thursday, as hard-hit Hubei province reported 37 new fatalities.

Hubei, the epicenter of a contagion that is causing mounting global fear, also reported 1,032 new confirmed cases of infection. — AFP

January 29, 2020

British citizens evacuated from Wuhan, the epicenter of a deadly virus outbreak, will be isolated for two weeks with "all necessary medical attention," UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock says.

"Anyone who returns from Wuhan will be safely isolated for 14 days, with all necessary medical attention," he writes on Twitter. "Public safety is the top priority." — AFP

January 29, 2020

Japanese automaker Toyota will keep its plants in China closed until at least February 9 over concerns about a new coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 130 people.

"Given the various factors including the guidelines by the local and regional governments and parts supply situation, as of January 29, we have decided to halt operations in our plants in China until February 9," a Toyota spokesman says.

"We will monitor the situation and make further decisions on operations from February 10." — AFP

January 29, 2020

Indonesia's Lion Air Group, Southeast Asia's biggest carrier by fleet size, is halting all its flights to and from China owing to the deadly coronavirus, a company spokesman says.

"All flights to China will be suspended temporarily starting from February 1st until further notice," Danang Mandala Prihantoro says.

Dozens of flights would be affected on routes to 15 Chinese cities, he adds. — AFP

January 29, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs will arrange special flights from Hubei province to bring Filipinos in Hubei and the rest of the province home if they want to, the department says.

In a statement on Tuesday, the DFA says Filipinos in Wuhan City and other parts of Hubei should contact the Philippine Consulate General in Shanghai:

PHILIPPINE CONSULATE GENERAL, SHANGHAI
Suite 301 Metrobank Plaza
1160 West Yan’An Road, Changning District, Shanghai 200052
Tel. No.: (+86-21) 6281-8020
Fax No.: (+86-21) 6281-8023
Hotline No.: (+86) 1391 747-7112
Email: shanghai.pcg@dfa.gov.ph / shanghaipcg@hotmail.com
Website: www.shanghaipcg.dfa.gov.ph

"Upon arrival in the Philippines, Filipino repatriates will be subject to 14 days of mandatory quarantine per guidelines of the Department of Health," DFA also says.

"Meanwhile, Filipinos who wish to stay in China should heed advisories from local health authorities, and cooperate with efforts to quell the further spread of 2019-novel Coronavirus," it adds.

January 29, 2020

The number of people confirmed to be infected in China's viral outbreak soared to 5,974 on Wednesday, with the death toll rising by 26, the national health commission said.

The health body said they were also monitoring more than 9,000 suspected cases of the virus. — AFP

January 28, 2020

Chinese President Xi Jinping says the country is waging a serious fight against the "demon" coronavirus outbreak and pledged transparency in the government's efforts to contain the disease.

"The epidemic is a demon, and we cannot let this demon hide," Xi says in a meeting with the head of the World Health Organization, according to state media.

"The Chinese government has always adopted an open, transparent and responsible attitude to timely release of information on the epidemic to domestic and foreign countries." — AFP

January 28, 2020

Officials say a German man who tested positive for the strain of coronavirus currently sweeping China was infected by a work colleague, in what is believed to be the first human transmission in Europe.

The man had not visited China but a Chinese work colleague who was in Germany last week had "started to feel sick on the flight home on January 23", says Andreas Zapf, head of the Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety.

He had attended a training session given by his Chinese colleague on January 21 at the office of a car parts supplier Webasto in Stockdorf in Bavaria and tested positive for the virus on Monday evening. — AFP

January 28, 2020

The death toll from a coronavirus outbreak in China has soared to 106 while nearly 1,300 new cases have been confirmed, authorities say. 

The health commission in central Hubei province, the epicentre of the epidemic, says 24 more people had died from the virus and 1,291 more people were infected, raising the total number of confirmed cases to more than 4,000 nationwide. — AFP

January 28, 2020

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, in a briefing on Tuesday, January 28, says there are still no confirmed cases on nCoV in the Philippines.

The Department of Health is, however, monitoring 22 possible cases of the novel coronavirus.

January 28, 2020

The Bureau of Immigration has suspended the visa upon arrival (VUA) facility in response to the risk posed by the novel coronavirus (nCoV), the bureau announces on Tuesday morning.

 "The Civil Aeronautics Board has already suspended direct flights from Wuhan province," Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente says in a bureau press release.  "We are now temporarily suspending the issuance of VUA for Chinese nationals to slow down the influx of group tours," he also says.

He says Chinese tour groups visiting the Philippines often use the VUA facility.

January 27, 2020

Three Chinese nationals showing signs of flu were admitted to San Lazaro Hospital in Manila and are under observation for the novel coronavirus, media reports citing Health Secretary Francisco Duque III say.

Two of them have travel history from China’s Wuhan City, the epicenter of the outbreak.

January 27, 2020

Germany is considering evacuating its citizens from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says Monday. 

"We are considering a possible evacuation of all willing German citizens," Maas tells a Berlin press conference, adding that the embassy in Beijing had sent a team to support Germans in Wuhan.

The number of German citizens currently in the city was estimated to be "in double figures," Maas says. — AFP

January 27, 2020

China on Monday extends its biggest national holiday to buy time in the fight against a viral epidemic, as the death toll spiked to 80 despite unprecedented quarantine measures and travel lockdowns.

In a sign of the mounting official concern, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited the ground-zero province of Hubei to oversee containment efforts in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people where the virus emerged late last year.

The government has sealed off Wuhan and neighboring cities, effectively trapping tens of millions of people, in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. — AFP

January 27, 2020

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday is the most senior Chinese leader to visit Wuhan since the city was struck by the outbreak of a deadly virus that has spread across the country and sparked global concern.

The virus toll has spiked to 80 dead despite a huge lockdown of Wuhan and Hubei province, home to the majority of fatalities from a disease that has infected more than 2,700 people nationwide so far.

Wearing a mask and blue plastic scrubs, Li was in Wuhan to "investigate and guide" ongoing efforts to control the virus in the city of 11 million people, which has been placed under an unprecedented quarantine, China's State Council said on its official social media account.

The State Council, China's cabinet, says Li would meet with patients and medical staff on the frontline. -- AFP

January 27, 2020

Government agencies should have been, and should be, more proactive about keeping risks like the novel coronavirus from entering the country, Rep. Lawrence Fortun (Agusan del Norte) says in a press statement.

"Why were we still allowing flights from Wuhan to land in the Philippines in the first place? Why did we have to wait for their announcement of lockdown before deciding to prohibit entry of flights coming from a place already confirmed to be the epicenter of the outbreak of a fatal virus that has turned epidemic?" he says of the entry into the Philippines of passengers from Wuhan in Hubei, China.

"And now, we have to send at least 500 travelers back? And that is not even a decision reached by our authorities, but the airlines?"

He says: "It is the lives and health of our people that are at stake here. We implore our authorities to be more proactive, aggressive and swift in situations like this."

January 27, 2020

A patient at the Metropolitan Hospital in Binondo, Manila rumored to have novel coronavirus had pneumonia and is now "well and does not have fever," Dr. Arnold Pangan, Manila City Health Officer, says in a release from the Manila Public Information Office.

"MHD Surveillance Team, in coordination with DOH surveillance, and as per investigation, patient has fever and cough but negative on history of travel to Wuhan, China, and no history of exposure to a host or positive case," he also says of the Chinese patient.

Manila City Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso says the public should avoid sharing unverified information that can increase public anxiety.

January 27, 2020

China's central government said on Monday that the nationwide total of confirmed infections from a deadly respiratory virus had risen to 2,744, with 769 new cases coming to light.

However, it said no new deaths were confirmed outside of Hubei province, which had earlier reported 24 new fatalities to bring the national total to 80 dead. — AFP

January 27, 2020

The head of the World Health Organization headed to China on Sunday to discuss how to contain a virus outbreak that has killed 56 people and infected over 2,000 worldwide.

"I am on my way to Beijing, to meet with the government and health experts supporting the #coronavirus response," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter.

"My WHO colleagues and I would like to understand the latest developments and strengthen our partnership with China in providing further protection against the outbreak."

The WHO also released its latest data showing a total of 2,014 cases — almost all of them in China.

The 29 confirmed cases outside China were in 10 countries. — AFP

January 26, 2020

A patient in California's Orange County was Saturday confirmed as the third person on US soil infected with the new deadly virus that originated in China, health officials say.

The infected person was a traveler from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the outbreak, the Orange County Health Care Agency says.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the patient had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, it says.  — AFP 

January 26, 2020

China orders a temporary ban on the trade in wild animals as the country struggles to contain a deadly virus believed to have been spawned in a market that sold wild animals as food.

Raising, transporting or selling all wild animal species is forbidden "from the date of the announcement until the national epidemic situation is over," said a joint directive from three top agencies including the Ministry of Agriculture. — AFP 

January 26, 2020

The United States is arranging a flight to evacuate personnel and American citizens trapped at the epicenter of a deadly virus in central China, the US State Department says Sunday.

The flight will leave on Tuesday from Wuhan and take people to San Francisco, the department said in an email to Americans in China, warning that there would be "limited capacity" for private citizens. — AFP 

January 26, 2020

Hong Kong's Disneyland announced it was shutting its doors on Sunday until further notice over the deadly virus outbreak in central China, a day after city authorities classified the crisis as an emergency.

"As a precautionary measure in line with prevention efforts taking place across Hong Kong, we are temporarily closing Hong Kong Disneyland park out of consideration for the health and safety of our guests and cast members," the park said in a statement. — AFP 

January 25, 2020

Hong Kong declares the outbreak of a mystery virus as an "emergency" -- the city's highest warning tier -- as authorities ramped up measures aimed at reducing the risk of further infections spreading.

"Today I declare the lifting of the response level to emergency," chief executive Carrie Lam tells reporters. — AFP 

January 25, 2020

China orders nationwide measures to detect virus on flights, trains and buses.

January 25, 2020

Some 56 million people are now affected by transport bans around the epicentre of China's virus outbreak as five more cities announced travel restrictions to contain the disease.

The rules include closing public transport links and access to highways in the cities, local authorities say.

A total of 18 cities now have some sort of travel restrictions in central Hubei province. — AFP

January 25, 2020

State media says China has deployed 450 military medical staff, some with experience combating SARS or Ebola, to a central city stricken by a virus that has killed dozens of people.

The medics, who arrived in Wuhan on military aircraft late Friday, will be dispatched to hospitals with large numbers of infected patients, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The move marks a dramatic escalation in the central government's involvement to contain the virus, which has killed 41 people and infected 1,287 others across the country. — AFP

January 25, 2020

A massive quarantine effort covering 13 cities was in effect in China aims at containing a deadly virus, as the death toll climbed to 26 and the first cases of the disease were reported in Europe and South Asia.

China imposes transport bans in an area covering a staggering 41 million people, as the United States confirmed its second case of the SARS-like virus that has reached almost a dozen countries.

The virus has also spread to densely populated South Asia, where Nepal confirmed one case, and Europe, where two cases were reported in France. — AFP

January 24, 2020

The World Travel and Tourism Council warns the coronavirus outbreak in China could have a "lasting economic impact" on the global tourism sector if panic is allowed to spread,

"Previous cases have shown us that closing airports, cancelling flights and closing borders often has a greater economic impact than the outbreak itself," says WTTC chief Gloria Guevara. 

"Quick, accurate and transparent communication is also crucial in order to contain panic and mitigate negative economic losses." — AFP 

January 24, 2020

China adds four more cities to a transport ban around the epicentre of a deadly virus, bringing the number affected by the shutdown to over 41 million as authorities scramble to control the disease.

Authorities in Xianning, Xiaogan, Enshi and Zhijiang cities -- all located in Hubei province where the virus first emerged -- says public transport services including train stations would be closed. 

Some cities also announce the closure of entertainment venues including theatres and karaoke bars. — AFP

January 24, 2020

Shanghai Disneyland will close until further notice this weekend due to a deadly virus outbreak that has infected hundreds of people in China, the amusement park says.

The move was decided "in response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak and in order to ensure the health and safety" of its guests and staff, Shanghai Disney Resort says on its website.

January 24, 2020

China confirms a second death outside the epicentre of a SARS-like virus outbreak that has infected hundreds of people.

The death was in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, which borders Russia, the local government says. — AFP

January 24, 2020

Sen. Risa Hontiveros urges the government to impose a 30-day travel ban on people in the Philippines who "came from or have passed through Wuhan, China, in light of the asymptomatic nature and lengthy incubation period of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), as determined by health authorities."

She also says the government should put Wuhan residents under health surveillance as well as those who have traveled through China in the past 14 days.

"I also strongly urge these individuals to self-quarantine and to report to health authorities any sign of sickness for appropriate medical observation and proper treatment," she says.

January 24, 2020

The death toll in China's viral outbreak has risen to 25, with the number of confirmed cases also leaping to 830, the national health commission said on Friday.

The body said authorities also were examining 1,072 suspected cases of the virus. — AFP

January 23, 2020

Authorities say a second central Chinese city is being put on lockdown to help control the spread of a virus epidemic that broke out in neighbouring Wuhan. 

The train station in Huanggang, which has a population of 7.5 million and is 70 kilometres (40 miles) from Wuhan, will be suspended until further notice from midnight -- all vehicles will be checked, and bars and cinemas will be closed, said city authorities.

The railway station in a third nearby city, Ezhou, which has a population of over one million, will also close from tonight, though no other measures were announced. — AFP

January 23, 2020

The Civil Aeronautics Board halts all chartered flights from Wuhan, China to the Philippines amid the new coronavirus outbreak.

 

 

January 23, 2020

The Health department says that there is still no confirmed case of novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV in the Philippines. 

"DOH is currently awaiting the results of the confirmatory test," its statement read which is posted on Facebook.

January 23, 2020

Officials announce Hong Kong will turn two holiday camps, including a former military barracks, into quarantine zones for people who may have come into contact with carriers of the Wuhan virus.

The international financial hub has been on high alert for the virus, which has killed 17 people since the outbreak started in central China.

The same sites were used as quarantine facilities during the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak 17 years ago. — AFP

January 23, 2020

The Department of Justice says it is willing to assist the Department of Health in tracking the four family Chinese nationals exposed to the new corona virus who arrived in Manila last Wednesday.

"I'm sure that the DOH Bureau of Quarantine has taken steps to restrict the movements of this family from Wuhan," Guevarra said in a statement.

"But should the DOH need our help, I will direct the (Bureau of Immigration) and the (National Bureau of Investigation) to track down the whereabouts of these Chinese nationals and find the people they have interacted with in our country," he added. 

January 23, 2020

Hong Kong stocks sank at the start of trade Thursday, with investors nervous over the deadly SARS-like virus that has spread from China.

The Hang Seng Index fell 0.82 percent, or 231.29 points, to 28,109.75. -- AFP

January 22, 2020

A boxing qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics scheduled for next month in China's Wuhan will be cancelled over the outbreak of a new virus, Japan's Kyodo news agency says.

Citing organizers, Kyodo says the qualifiers would be rescheduled and moved from Wuhan, where the outbreak of the new strain of coronavirus is believed to have begun.

There was no independent confirmation from the organizers, and Japan's boxing federation says it was waiting to hear from the International Olympic Committee on the reported cancellation. — AFP

January 22, 2020

The Chinese city at the centre of a SARS-like virus outbreak has urged people to stay away, cancelling a major Lunar New Year event as it strives to contain a disease that has spread across the country.

The death toll from the virus, which first emerged in the central city of Wuhan, has reached nine while more than 400 people have now been confirmed infected across the country.

The disease is spreading just as hundreds of millions of people are travelling in packed trains, planes and buses across China to gather with friends and family for the Lunar New Year holiday, which starts on Friday. — AFP

January 22, 2020

China warns that a SARS-like virus could mutate and spread as the death toll rose to nine and the number of cases reached 440 across the country.

The coronavirus is transmitted via the respiratory tract and there "is the possibility of viral mutation and further spread of the disease", National Health Commission vice minister Li Bin said at a news conference.

The commission announces measures to contain the disease as hundreds of millions of people travel across the country for this week's Lunar New Year holiday, including disinfection and ventilation at airports, train stations and shopping centres. — AFP

January 21, 2020

DOH says symptoms manifested by three Chinese nationals placed under quarantine after arriving at Kalibo airport did not fit the case definition of new coronavirus 2019-nCoV.

Kalibo airport has direct international flights to China.

January 21, 2020

The Department of Health says it is investigating a pneumonia case of a five-year-old who traveled to the Philippines from Wuhan, China, believed to be the epicenter of an outbreak of a new coronavirus.

January 21, 2020

A man showing symptoms of a SARS-like virus after visiting China is being held in isolation at his Australian home, in the country's first suspected case of the coronavirus, public broadcaster ABC reported Tuesday.

The man had recently returned from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, believed to be the epicentre of an outbreak of coronavirus, which has infected a total of 218 people and caused at least four deaths.

He was recovering from a respiratory illness at his home in the northeastern city of Brisbane, where health authorities were awaiting the results of tests to determine whether he had contracted the new virus. — AFP

January 21, 2020

An 89-year-old man has become the fourth person to die in China from a new virus that has spread across the country, authorities said Tuesday.

The man died on Sunday after experiencing breathing difficulties in Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak that has infected more than 200 people, the local health commission said in a statement. — AFP

January 20, 2020

A mysterious SARS-like virus has killed a third person, spread around China and reached a third Asian country, authorities said Monday, fuelling fears of a major outbreak as millions begin travelling for the Lunar New Year in humanity's biggest migration.

The new coronavirus strain, first discovered in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has caused alarm because of its connection to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003. — AFP

January 20, 2020

China on Monday reported a mysterious SARS-like virus had spread across the country, including to Beijing, raising concerns as millions begin trips for the Lunar New Year.

A third person was confirmed to have died, authorities said, as nearly 140 cases were announced.

The new coronavirus strain has caused alarm because of its connection to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003. ?— AFP

January 19, 2020

The true scale of the outbreak of a mysterious SARS-like virus in China is likely far bigger than officially reported, scientists warn, as countries ramp up measures to prevent the disease from spreading.

Fears that the virus will spread are growing ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, when hundreds of millions of Chinese move around the country and many others host or visit extended family members living overseas. — AFP

January 18, 2020

Researchers say the number of people infected by a mystery SARS-like virus that has killed two people in China is likely hundreds more than officially reported.

Chinese authorities have said pneumonia linked to the virus has hit at least 41 people in the country, with the outbreak centred around a seafood market in the central city of Wuhan.

But a paper published Friday by scientists with the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College in London says the number of those affected in the city was likely to be well over a thousand. — AFP

January 18, 2020

US authorities will begin screening passengers arriving on direct or connecting flights from a Chinese city at the heart of a mysterious SARS-like virus responsible for two deaths.

Travelers from Wuhan to the United States will undergo entry screening for symptoms associated with the new coronavirus at three airports: San Francisco, New York's JFK and Los Angeles.

China has now reported 45 cases linked to the virus, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official Nancy Messonnier told reporters in a press call, most linked to a seafood and live animal market in Wuhan, while two cases have been found in Thailand and one in Japan. — AFP

January 17, 2020

Health officials say Thailand detected its second case of a mysterious SARS-linked virus in a visitor from China, as authorities ramp up airport screenings ahead of an expected surge in arrivals for Chinese New Year.

The 74-year-old Chinese woman is being treated at hospital after presenting with symptoms at Thailand's biggest airport Suvarnabhumi on January 13, according to the health ministry.

She was diagnosed with pneumonia linked to the new coronavirus, which has stirred alarm after killing two in China and hospitalising dozens. It has also been detected in Japan. — AFP

January 17, 2020

Officials say a second person has died in China from a mysterious SARS-linked virus that has stricken dozens and appeared in two other Asian countries.

Local authorities say a 69-year-old man died on Wednesday in Wuhan, the central Chinese city believed to be the epicentre of an outbreak of a coronavirus from the same family as the deadly SARS pathogen.

The outbreak has caused alarm because of the link with SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed 349 people in mainland China and another 299 in Hong Kong in 2002-2003. — AFP

January 17, 2020

A second person has died in China from a mystery virus that has stricken dozens and appeared in two other Asian countries, officials said.

Local authorities said a 69-year-old man died on Wednesday in Wuhan, the central Chinese city believed to be the epicentre of an outbreak of a coronavirus from the same family as the deadly SARS pathogen.

The outbreak has caused alarm because of the link with SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed 349 people in mainland China and another 299 in Hong Kong in 2002-2003.

At least 41 people have been hit with pneumonia linked to the new virus in China. -- AFP

January 16, 2020

Local authorities say a new virus from the same family as the deadly SARS pathogen could have been spread between family members in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

The outbreak, which has killed one person, has caused alarm because of the link with SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed 349 people in mainland China and another 299 in Hong Kong in 2002-2003.

One of the 41 patients reported in the city could have been infected by her husband, Wuhan's health commission says in a statement. — AFP

January 13, 2020

The World Health Organization confirms Monday the first case in Thailand of a new virus from the same family as SARS, that is behind a Chinese pneumonia outbreak.

The UN health agency said a person traveling from Wuhan, China, had been hospitalized in Thailand on January 8 after being diagnosed with mild pneumonia.

"Laboratory testing subsequently confirmed that the novel coronavirus was the cause," WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic tells AFP in an email, referring to the new virus. — AFP

January 11, 2020

Chinese health authorities report first death from a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has been blamed on a new strain of virus from the same family as SARS.

Out of 41 people diagnosed with the new type of coronavirus in the city of Wuhan where it was first confirmed, one had died, two were discharged from treatment, and seven remained in serious condition, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission says in a statement. — AFP

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

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