Duque advises Church to hold more masses to avoid crowding and infection of COVID-19

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Health Secretary Francisco Duque III urged the Catholic Church and other religious denominations to hold more  masses so  that crowds are dispersed and not beside each other in order to avoid any infection, amidst the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Duque  said this move would also  lessen crowds and social interaction.

He also advised  those with  cough and fever, not to go to mass, remain at home and wear face mask.

In this way, they cannot infect their  family. “As much as possible, don’t interact with other people,” Duque said.

As the nation observed Ash Wednesday, he called on  Filipinos to pray at home after a spike in cases of the COVID-19  in South Korea was linked to church services.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) earlier advised  clergymen to sprinkle dry ashes on the head instead of applying wet ashes on a person’s forehead in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Philippines, a predominantly Catholic nation, has three  confirmed cases of the new strain of virus, all of which were foreigners from Wuhan, China. It has yet to record local transmission of the virus.  

Meanwhile, the DOH said three more patients under investigation (PUIs) for the COVID-19 are now admitted to hospitals nationwide.

The DOH’s  PUI tracker showed the number of admitted patients monitored for the deadly virus increased from 98 to 101, as of 12 noon.  

The record also showed 501 PUIs were discharged from hospitals after they tested negative for the virus which makes the total number of patients checked at 614.

Breakdown of persons observed for the COVID-19  per region are as follows:

Metro Manila – 86 admitted, 116 discharged, 2 confirmed cases, 1 mortality Calabarzon – 4 admitted, 75 discharged
Central Visayas – 3 admitted, 58 discharged, 1 confirmed case
Central Luzon – 2 admitted, 60 discharged
Western Visayas – 0 admitted, 38 discharged
Cagayan Valley – 1 admitted, 35 discharged
Cordillera Administrative Region – 2 admitted, 26 discharged
Davao Region – 0 admitted, 23 discharged
Eastern Visayas – 0 admitted, 18 discharged
Northern Mindanao – 1 admitted, 16 discharged
Mimaropa – 0 admitted, 15 discharged
Bicol Region – 0 admitted, 13 discharged
Ilocos Region – 1 admitted, 11 discharged
SOCCSKSARGE— 1 admitted, 2 discharged
Caraga  – 0 admitted, 3 discharged
BARMM – 0 admitted, 1 discharged

The number of confirmed COVID-19 globally increased from  77,794  to more than 80,000 cases.

Of the total, 77,658 cases are from mainland China, the hardest-hit by the coronavirus outbreak./ Stacy Ang

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