Health Department warns Filipinos not to attend concerts, other public events to avoid coronavirus infection

Photo: Alexander Popov/Unsplash
Photo: Alexander Popov/Unsplash

Filipinos should avoid going to concerts and other large public events to minimize the chance of getting infected with the potentially deadly coronavirus, the Department of Health (DOH) said in an advisory released on Friday.

The advisory, signed by Secretary Francisco Duque, also asked for the “cancellation for such planned big events or mass gatherings until further notice.”

“To further minimize the risk of contracting 2019-nCoV ARD [coronavirus], the public is advised to avoid crowded public places and continue to practice self-protection measures,” it said.

Many concerts and events have already been canceled due to the coronavirus scare, but one event, the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale, will push through and take place for 24 hours a day, from Feb. 14 to Feb. 24. The annual event has been much anticipated and has historically attracted thousands of shoppers.

The organizing team said in a statement sent to the media that they have put in place “security measures” such as hand sanitizers and infrared thermometers to check on shoppers’ temperatures to avoid any potential transmissions.

Meanwhile, 32 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) repatriated from Hubei, ground zero of the virus, arrived yesterday and have been put under a 14-day quarantine at the New Clark City (NCC) in Tarlac. Also under quarantine are 10 government officials who fetched the OFWs from China, ABS-CBN News reports.

The mayor of Capas, the town where NCC is located, had voiced his opposition to the use of NCC as a quarantine area, but the decision of the national government prevailed. The Bases Conversion and Development Authority, which manages the NCC, said only the first batch of repatriates will stay at the NCCThe Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

As of yesterday, 240 people are being monitored for possible coronavirus infections, with almost half of them based in the National Capital Region. There have been three confirmed cases in the country, all of them Chinese nationals. One of the patients died over the weekendanother has already left for China, and the third remains confined at the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila.

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