The Department of Health (DOH) this afternoon announced an additional 9 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, bringing the total number to 33.
Initially, the DOH said there were 11 new cases, but admitted in a press con today that they have made a mistake. As of press time, the DOH has yet to reveal details about the new patients because they have yet to receive their addresses.
Meanwhile, with reports of panic-buying swirling, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez tried to calm the public, saying the government is ready to provide food should authorities decide to lock down certain areas.
“Do not panic. Don’t panic and buy everything at the grocery. It’s not necessary,” he said. “If you want to keep things in stock, buy those which have a long shelf life.”
In a presser last night, President Rodrigo Duterte assured the public that the Philippines could handle the health crisis, and maintained that it “will not last. I’m confident that we can survive this contagion.”
He also rejected suggestions to put the National Capital Region under lockdown, a move that was undertaken to stem the virus’s spread in China’s Hubei province and Italy, both of which have vastly more cases.
Only one patient has so far died of COVID-19 in the Philippines, a 44-year-old Chinese tourist who was the first fatality outside of China, where the virus originated.