Philippines to declare health emergency to combat coronavirus

Romeo GACAD / AFP

President of the Philippines is set to declare a public health emergency to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The declaration will help health officials procure critical supplies and easily establish quarantine measures.

All government agencies have been asked to "undertake critical, urgent and appropriate response and measures in a timely manner to curtail and eliminate the COVID-19 threat".

The decision comes as the country recorded its first case of community transmission, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to six.

According to health officials, a 62-year-old man, who had not travelled abroad recently, and his 59-year-old wife are being treated after they tested positive for COVID-19. 

The coronavirus has spread to more than 90 countries, infecting more than 100,000 people worldwide.

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