MANILA: The Philippines’ health ministry on Saturday (Mar 21) reported a 19th death related to the coronavirus and said the number of confirmed cases had risen to 262 from 230 a day before.

The government has placed more than half of the country’s population under strict home quarantine to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The country is stopping the issuance of visas to foreigners, banning all nationalities from entering the country to halt the spread of coronavirus, its foreign minister said on Thursday.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin said on Twitter that he had signed an order stopping the issuance of visas domestically and in all foreign posts. Locsin did not give a timeframe for the measures.

The government has unveiled a 27.1 billion peso (US$526.6 million) package to fund hospitals fighting the virus and provide reprieve amid a slowdown in economic activity.

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