Philippines' coronavirus death toll rises to 12, cases spike to 140

Reuters , Sunday 15 Mar 2020

Army troopers use thermal scanner
Army troopers use a thermal scanner to check the temperatures of people entering the metropolis at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Quezon city, Philippines Sunday March 15, 2020. ( Photo: AP )

The Philippines recorded four additional coronavirus deaths and 29 new cases, bringing the domestic tally of infections to 140, as authorities placed the entire capital Manila under "community quarantine" for about a month beginning Sunday.

The latest deaths include an 86-year-old American male with travel history from the United States and South Korea, the Department of Health said in an advisory.

The other three are Filipinos, including the latest fatality. In total, 12 people have died from the virus in the country, according to the health department.

Domestic land, sea and air travel to and from Metro Manila is now restricted, while stringent measures to contain or prevent local transmission have been imposed in other parts of the Southeast Asian country.

Major shopping malls in Metro Manila, home to at least 12 million people, have heeded the authorities' call for a temporary partial closure to discourage people from leaving their homes, while a nighttime curfew will begin on Monday.

Supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, bookstores and hardware stores will be kept open, while restaurants could also operate but only for home deliveries, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

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