Philippine President Duterte to be tested for Wuhan coronavirus

Philippine cabinet exposed to COVID-19 patients, as number of confirmed cases rises to 52

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to be tested for coronavirus. 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to be tested for coronavirus.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will undergo testing for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), his spokesperson said Thursday (March 12) as the number of confirmed cases in the country rose to 52.

According to ETtoday, the president's daughter and incumbent mayor of Davao City, Sara Duterte, has applied for voluntary home quarantine after one of her staff was listed among patients being monitored for possible coronavirus infections. Several key government officials, including Central Bank Governor Benjamin Diokno, have also been placed under quarantine due to potential exposure to two individuals confirmed with the virus.

On Thursday, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement that the 74-year-old Duterte has opted to undergo coronavirus testing as a precautionary measure against the epidemic. He added that the presidential palace will be cleaned and sanitized too, reported CNA.

As more infections are seen in the Philippines, Duterte on Monday (March 9) declared "a state of public health emergency" over the nation's widening coronavirus spread. Philippine Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire stressed that no hospitals are allowed to refuse patients with COVID-19 symptoms under the law and that individuals who break quarantine rules will face sanctions.