Duterte's calling for emergency meeting Monday night not late, but timely - Andanar
President Rodrigo Duterte's calling for an emergency meeting Monday night was not late but in fact "timely" following the death of a male Chinese national due to novel coronavirus, a Palace official said.
In a press briefing on Monday, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar said the government's actions in relation to addressing nCoV were based on the recommendation of the World Health Organization and the Department of Health.
"No, it's not late. In fact, the decision of the government is very timely. Again, we follow also the directives and also the recommendation from the World Health Organization, the Department of Health," he said.
Andanar said the government's decision is "very methodical and the meeting later was timely because a patient from China died during the weekend and unfortunately, the first death outside China."
A 44-year old Chinese from Wuhan, the epicenter of nCoV, passed away last Saturday in a government hospital in Manila.
Duterte ordered a travel ban of foreigners from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau on Sunday morning.
The DOH has said 80 patients are under investigation for novel coronavirus.
Vice President Leni Robredo, in her radio program on Sunday, said Duterte should be personally assuaging the public that everything was under control instead of just allowing his Cabinet officials to do the job.
"We respect the suggestion of the Vice President," Andandar said, noting that Duterte would preside the emergency meeting to discuss exactly nCoV.
He said Duterte would hold a press conference later. Celerina Monte/DMS