Undersecretary of DOH Maria Rosario Vergeire said that a 65-year-old Filipino male patient from Metro Manila with a travel history to Singapore died on March 17, bringing the total number of Covid-19 deaths to 18.
In addition, eight patients in the Philippines have recovered from the Covid-19.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases forced the Philippine government to place the main island of Luzon, including Metro Manila, under a 30-day "enhanced community quarantine" on Monday to restrict the movement of people in an effort to slow down the Covid-19 infection.
Moreover, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) of the Philippines announced "a temporary travel ban on foreigners" entering the Philippines starting midnight March 22.
"Only overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), repatriating Filipinos, their foreign spouses and children (provided that the foreign spouse and children are travelling with the Filipino national), foreign government and international organization officials accredited to the Philippines, will be allowed to enter the country," said the DOTr statement.
Departing Filipino tourists are temporarily not allowed to leave the country.
The DOTr said land, air and sea travel of policemen and soldiers for official business, especially those transporting medical supplies, laboratory specimens related to the Covid-19, and other humanitarian assistance, will be allowed.
Meanwhile, the DOTr said sweeper flights for foreign nationals to bring them to the airports will be allowed to continue operations.
In order to restrict the movement of the public, the Philippine government suspended work, mass transport, shuttered schools and imposed travel restrictions. - Xinhua/Asian News Network