COVID-19 cases in Philippines hit 140, China offering help
MANILA, March 15 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines reported 29 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and three new deaths on Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 140 and death toll to 11.
Huang Xilian, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, said on Sunday China will do its best to help the Philippines arrest the fast spread of the COVID-19 cases in the country, adding that a first batch of free COVID-19 test kits for the Philippines is on the way.
The Philippines on Sunday started implementing a 30-day lockdown in Metro Manila to limit the movement of people in the region in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. Majority of the COVID-19 patients are residents of Metro Manila, home to nearly 13 million people.
From March 15 until April 14, domestic travel to and from Metro Manila will be restricted. The government also announced travel restrictions for all foreign nationals coming from countries reporting local transmissions of COVID-19.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque has advised people to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example, by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.
Duque reiterated that people of all ages can be infected by the virus. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus, he added.