In light of the novel coronavirus scare and the recent Taal Volcano eruption, Smart Communications Inc., the wireless unit of PLDT Inc., would start providing customers access to the websites of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) free of charge.
In a February 1 advisory, Smart said the move aimed to "help the public access the latest official information on the 2019 nCoV outbreak and the Taal Volcano eruption."
Smart Communications makes access to DOH and PHIVOLCS websites free of charge. | via @Ted_Cordero pic.twitter.com/whTXitQArO
— GMA News (@gmanews) February 1, 2020
On Thursday, the DOH confirmed that a 38-year-old woman from Wuhan City, China — the so-called epicenter of the deadly virus — tested positive for the 2019-nCoV.
The patient was confined at San Lazaro Hospital in Manila and was in stable condition, according to a source.
Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo on Friday said there were 31 suspected cases of the novel coronavirus in the Philippines.
On Sunday, the DOH confirmed a second case in the Philippines. The patient, a 44-year-old Chinese national, died on Saturday, the first in the country and the first nCoV-related death outside of China.
Early in January, Taal Volcano erupted causing thousands of families in Batangas and Cavite to flee their homes. It also resulted in P3.353 billion worth of damages to infrastructure and agriculture.
Three weeks after it first emitted ash and steam, Taal Volcano continued to release steam-laden plumes while Alert Level 3 remained hoisted over the volcano, PHIVOLCS said. — Ted Cordero/DVM, GMA News