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Philippines is now on ‘Code Red’ alert level, as covid-19 threatens to wreck havoc in Manila 

MANILA, Philippines (MDN National News) — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed today (March 9) a proclamation placing the entire country under state of public health emergency, as the deadly coronavirus disease (covid-19) is threatening to wreck havoc in the country.

This, as the total death toll worldwide has already reached over 3,800 people infected with the deadly disease and over one hundred thousand confirmed cases has been recorded by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire during a press briefing Monday said  the Philippine Government has declared a "code red" alert level. 

Asec Vergeire  explained that the raising of alert level to "code red, sub-level 1" is a preventive call to alert all public and private healthcare providers' readiness if a sudden increase of cases happened, just what had happened in Italy and other countries in Asia.

As "code red alert" system is imposed, all hospital personnel are strictly mandated to report to official duties to provide medical care services especially if the deadly coronavirus will be more active in the coming days. This, as there are now seven Filipinos confirmed by health officials, bringing the number of 20 – two of whom are chinese nationals while another one is a Taiwanese.

Meanwhile DOH Secretary Francisco Duque said he sent the code red plan in a letter sent to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on February 21, which is now in effect after Malacañang made a "go ahead" signal after new cases of coronavirus infections were found.

He said the declaration of a state of public health emergency is also meant "to facilitate the sufficient and immediate access to funding, particularly for local government units, and ease processes on procurement, mandatory reporting, mandatory quarantine, and travel restrictions, among others." 

The health official said confirmed cases were tested on March 7 and the results also arrived on March 8.

A 38-year-old Taiwanese national was the seventh case. He has a contact history after another Taiwanese friend visited him in the Philippines and tested positive of the dealy coronavirus in his country in Taiwan.

The eight victim of the virus was a 32-year-old  Filipino. He traveled to Japan within the 14-day quarantine period. The victim started showing signs on March 5. 

An eighty-six-years-old American male was the 9th person infected with the disease. He has hypertension and travel history in South Korea and the United States. He started showing signs of virus infection last March 1.

The 10th case was a 57-year-old Filipino and he has no record of travelling abroad. But Duque said he was reported to have been in contact with a person who was confirmed Covid-19 case in the past.

Meanwhile in Italy, government authorities have decided to lockdown and quarantine over 15 milion of its people in nothern Italy severely affected by the deadly coronavirus.

On Sunday (March 8), Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he signed a plan to enforce a limitation in large areas frequented by large number of people, such as Venice and its financial hub Milan. 

Conte wrote in his twitter accoint “#Coronavirus, the new decree is finally approved,” as he also confirmed earlier reports of lockdown which appeared in newspapers like Corriere Della Sera, including other media outlets.

The fatality in Italy which hit the biggest high fo 230, is considered worst in Italy, now being considered as the number two country with the highest recorded fatalities.

According to the World Bank, Italy is the second oldest population after Japan, and based on recent observations of the virus attack, older people are most vulnerable to coronavirus disease than the younger generation who are perceived as still having strong immune system and strong antibodies. 

According to reports, the total lockdown will be implemented in the Lombardy region and Venice – which includes some cities like Rimini and Parma. People in these places will not be allowed to leave quarantine and lockdown zones. And this lockdown affects an estimated population of 15 million.

Night clubs, museums, casinos and gyms will be closed especially in these areas of concern. People are also told to stay in their respective homes until April 3.


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