‘Eat Bulaga’ bans live audience amid coronavirus scare

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 9)— Local hit noontime show "Eat Bulaga" has joined the list of events worldwide that have opted to run without a live audience amid growing concerns on the coronavirus disease.

GMA-7's daily program said Monday it has decided to “temporarily suspend” the admission of a live studio audience “to help prevent the spread of the virus and to ensure the health and safety of its talent, staff, crew and members of its audience.” Eat Bulaga's live studio is located in Cainta, Rizal.

“Please understand that this decision was made after extensive and careful consideration in order to cooperate with government efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19,” the show’s management, TAPE, Inc., said in a statement.

The Philippines on Sunday confirmed four more coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infected patients to 10. This includes the country's first reported local transmission case -- a 62-year-old man from Cainta, Rizal with no previous travel history outside of the Philippines, as well as his wife who tested positive for the virus.

The Health Department said the newly-confirmed cases were admitted in several hospitals in Metro Manila—including in Quezon City, Taguig, and Ortigas.

READ: 4 new confirmed coronavirus cases recorded in Metro Manila

President Rodrigo Duterte has also declared a state of public emergency, upon health officials' recommendations. The move will allow for easier access to financial resources to control the spread of the disease in the country, and will also allow authoriities to enforce mandatory quarantine for travelers.

Organizers of several events worldwide— particularly in sports— have decided to hold games behind closed-doors as coronavirus cases soared to over 110,000. The virus has killed more than 3,800 people and has spread to 106 countries outside of China, the epicenter of the disease’s outbreak.

Eat Bulaga, the Philippines' longest-running noontime program, features mainstay hosts Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon. In 2019, the show also secured a Myanmar franchise— in time for its 40th anniversary.