On public reaction to COVID-19 localized transmission

The Office of the President is closely monitoring the developments of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country and it has come to its attention that some hospitals are experiencing overcrowding.

While we encourage everyone to consult or see a healthcare provider in case they experience any symptom of the virus, mild or otherwise, we wish to reiterate what our health officials have been saying to the public: Those considered close contacts with symptoms of COVID-19 should be prioritized in obtaining medical attention and management. Close contacts include persons with a travel history in the last 14 days to countries with local transmission or those who have a history of exposure to patients who tested positive for COVID-19, i.e., those who provided direct care for a COVID-19 patient or those working together, staying in the same close environment, traveling together, or living in the same household with a COVID-19 patient within the 14-day incubation period.

The Palace likewise appeals to our people to buy only what they need. There are reports of panic-buying in some supermarkets, groceries or pharmacies. This would only result in undue hoarding and price increases. Our officials from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) gave assurances that we have ample stock of essential items.

We cannot stress enough the importance of everyone’s cooperation during this time. Let us not circulate unverified information that may only cause unnecessary anxiety among the members of our respective communities and instead maintain good hygiene and observe proper etiquette at all times.

Salvador S. Panelo
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel
& Presidential Spokesperson