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Panelo says Duterte busy reading in Davao as #OustDuterte tops Twitter trends


President Rodrigo Duterte is in his hometown Davao City today, Friday — a day after the Department of Health confirmed that a 38-year-old woman from Wuhan, China who arrived in the Philippines via Hongkong last January 21 has been infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus.

“Nasa Davao. Kausap ko siya kanina,” Panelo told reporters when asked about the President’s whereabouts.

“Marami siyang binabasa,” Panelo added.

Panelo did not elaborate on the President’s reading materials.

When informed that #OustDuterte is among the top trends on Twitter Philippines with over 17,000 tweets discussing it by Friday evening, Panelo was unfazed. Users are railing about the supposed slow government response since the President’s meeting with concerned government officials on preventing the spread of nCoV is scheduled next week and not over the weekend.

“Iyang meeting na iyan, for developments [on nCoV]. Pero iyong instructions [from the President], meron na. Meron nang protocol, at ginagawa na iyan,” Panelo said.

While the President has ordered a travel ban on all individuals coming from Hubei province in China on Friday due to the nCoV scare, the President is yet to order barring travelers from entire China from entering Philippine shores.

Pressed to answer why the President does not want the travel ban to cover the entire China, Panelo said such determination will be made once the Chinese government identifies other places that are adversely affected by the nCoV.

The nCoV originated in Hubei, and it has since killed at least 170 people in China based on World Health Organization (WHO) records.

Data from WHO has also showed that there are 82 confirmed nCoV cases in 18 countries outside China, including the Philippines. —JST, GMA News

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