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

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com

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
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LATEST UPDATE: December 6, 2021 - 6:36pm

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December 6, 2021 - 6:36pm

People in Italy unvaccinated against Covid-19 can no longer go to the theatre, cinemas, live music venues or major sporting events under new rules that came into force Monday.

Only those who have recently recovered from Covid-19 are exempt from the rules, which represent a significant tightening of restrictions in the face of rising infections.

New measures are also being enforced on public transport, with a so-called Green Pass showing proof of vaccination, recent recovery or a negative Covid-19 test now required even on local services. — AFP

November 27, 2021 - 9:10am

An anti-Covid pill developed by Merck has proved effective in treating the disease, the US Food and Drug Administration says in a much-awaited preliminary report.  

But the report, from an FDA advisory panel, cautioned that pregnant women should not use the drug, known as molnupiravir, saying the potential benefits do not outweigh the risks for those patients.

The report is meant to provide guidance to an FDA experts panel convening Tuesday to consider whether to authorize emergency use of molnupiravir. — AFP

November 25, 2021 - 12:01pm

More than 100,000 people have died of Covid-19 in Germany since the start of the pandemic, a public health agency announces Thursday.

Europe's largest economy is battling a fresh surge in coronavirus cases, and recorded 351 fatalities in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 100,119, according to figures from the Robert Koch Institute.

As infections reach a record high and intensive care units fill up, the health crisis is posing an immediate challenge to the new coalition government set to take over from Angela Merkel's cabinet. — AFP

November 23, 2021 - 7:02am

Covid infections are on the rise in South African weeks ahead of an expected fourth wave in December, the country's national health laboratory service says Monday.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reports a "sustained" increase over the past seven days, with the majority of cases detected in the most populous province of Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg and Pretoria.

"We are monitoring these trends to see if these increases persist," NICD's interim executive director, Adrian Puren, says in a statement. — AFP

November 22, 2021 - 7:15pm

Most Germans will be "vaccinated, cured or dead" from Covid-19 in a few months, Health Minister Jens Spahn warned Monday as he urged more citizens to get jabbed.

"Probably by the end of this winter, as is sometimes cynically said, pretty much everyone in Germany will be vaccinated, cured or dead," Spahn said, blaming "the very contagious Delta variant".

"That is why we so urgently recommend vaccination," he added.

The stark warning comes as Germany is racing to contain a record rise in coronavirus infections in recent weeks, with hospitals sounding the alarm about overflowing intensive care units.

Despite widespread access to free coronavirus vaccines, just 68% of the German population is fully vaccinated, a level experts say is too low to keep the pandemic under control. — AFP

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