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Philippine President Duterte undergoes coronavirus test

Southeast Asian country reports 2nd death from COVID-19

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 12.03.2020
Philippine President Duterte undergoes coronavirus test


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday was tested for coronavirus as the island nation reported its second death from the virus.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte did “not have symptoms of the virus but has opted to undergo the test."

Senator Bong Go, who was also tested along side Duterte, said results will be available in 48 hours or on Saturday, reported.

An inter-agency task force, Panelo said, will meet in the day to discuss urgent steps against the COVID-19 outbreak, which has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

"The contents of the resolution [from the meeting] will be announced to the public following an approval by the president," the spokesman said.

According to a report in daily Manila Standard, a Filipino woman, 67, died of the virus late Wednesday.

The deceased was being treated at Manila Doctors Hospital and was the first Filipino national to succumb to the infection.

Some 52 people have tested positive for the virus in Philippines, according to WHO. It was the first country outside China to have reported a death from the virus last month.

Last week, Duterte declared a “state of public health emergency" in the country to contain the spread of the virus. It was followed by a “no-touch” policy to protect him from possible exposure to the virus.

Since it surfaced in Wuhan, China last December, the disease has spread to 118 countries or territories with more than 124,000 confirmed cases globally. More than 4,600 have so far died, according to WHO.

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