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'Travel with me': Duterte urges Filipinos to visit local destinations amid COVID-19 scare

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - February 14, 2020 - 4:15pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte called on Filipinos to patronize domestic travel to counter the negative effects of the spread of coronavirus disease to the local tourism industry. 

“To my fellow Filipinos, I encourage you travel with me around the Philippines,” Duterte said in a taped message Friday.

He added: “Come with me and be my travel companion. I’ll be traveling around the Philippines. Let’s go around the Philippines. Let’s prioritize our own.”

The chief executive issued the message after the government banned foreign nationals coming from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This led to canceled flights, and hotel and tour bookings across the country.

The Department of Tourism reported the local tourism industry is expected to lose an estimated P42.9 billion from February to April due to the SARS-like virus.

Chinese—hit hardest by COVID-19—are the second biggest group of foreign visitors next to Korean tourists.

Duterte assured the public that everything is “safe in the Philippines — “be it an issue of health, be it an issue of law and order, and be it an issue of accessibility.”

“There are many beautiful places in the Philippines. You don’t have to worry about a thing,” he said.

The president added that tourism and aviation stakeholders have agreed to lower airfare and hotel rates “so that we can be a viable market for the Philippines.”

Duterte on Thursday urged Filipinos to “remain calm and vigilant” and take precautionary measures amid the ongoing outbreak.

The coronavirus disease that emerged in China at the end of 2019 has infected more than 46,000 and killed more than 1,300. There are two reported deaths outside mainland China: one in the Philippines and the other in Hong Kong.

The Health department said there are 230 patients under investigation currently admitted in hospitals.

 

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS RODRIGO DUTERTE TOURISM SECTOR
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: June 17, 2021 - 7:45pm

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

June 17, 2021 - 7:45pm

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 3,835,238 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1000 GMT on Thursday. 

At least 176,966,040 cases of coronavirus have been registered.

The vast majority have recovered, though some have continued to experience symptoms weeks or even months later. —  AFP

June 17, 2021 - 7:42am

A repurposed arthritis drug has shown positive results in a clinical trial of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a paper published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Tofacitinib, taken orally and sold under the brand name Xeljanz among others, was tested in a trial of 289 patients hospitalized with severe COVID across 15 locations in Brazil.

Half received the drug — a 10 mg pill twice a day — and standard care like glucocorticoids that tamp down an overactive immune response, while the other half received a placebo and standard care.

After 28 days, 18.1% of the group receiving the tofacitinib progressed to respiratory failure or death, compared to 29% in the placebo group.

This represented a statistically significant relative risk reduction of 63%. — AFP

June 16, 2021 - 7:52am

The US death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 600,000 on Tuesday, although officials hailed progress towards a return to normality as its world-leading vaccination program promised to turn the page on one of the worst health crises in American history.

The United States has racked up by far the largest national death toll  ahead of Brazil and India  after a heavily-criticized early response to the pandemic, but has since organized among the world's most effective immunization drives.

Progress against the coronavirus was underlined as New York announced more than 70 percent of adults had received at least one vaccine dose and the last of the state's restrictions could be lifted.

"There's still too many lives being lost," President Joe Biden said, noting that despite the daily number of dead dropping sharply, the continuing loss of life was still "a real tragedy." — AFP

June 14, 2021 - 7:22pm

The pandemic has killed at least 3,805,928 people worldwide since the virus first emerged in December 2019, according to an AFP compilation of official data at 1830 GMT. 

The US is the worst-affected country with 599,769 deaths, followed by Brazil with 487,401, India with 374,305, Mexico with 230,150, Peru with 188,708 and the United Kingdom with 127,904.

The figures are based on reports by health authorities in each country, but do not take into account upward revisions carried out later by statistical bodies. 

The WHO says up to three times more people have died directly or indirectly due to the pandemic than official figures suggest. —  AFP

June 13, 2021 - 4:12pm

The DOH logs 7,302 more COVID-19 cases, pushing the Philippines' tally to 1,315,639.

  • Recoveries: 7,701 new; 1,232,986 total
  • Deaths: 137 new; 22,788 total
  • Active cases: 59,865 or 4.6% of total
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