Duterte to address nation tonight amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 12) — President Rodrigo Duterte will address the public Thursday night amid the rising cases of coronavirus disease or COVID-19 in the country.

Malacañang in a statement said the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases has agreed to adopt a resolution on measures to contain the spread of the virus.

"The contents of the resolution will be announced to the public following the approval by the President," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

The Philippines now has a total of 49 confirmed cases, including two deaths. Most of the patients are admitted in various hospitals in Luzon, mostly Metro Manila, but a hospital in Dumaguete City and Cagayan de Oro City each have one patient.

READ: PH transport official tests positive for COVID-19, sources say

Worldwide, COVID-19 has killed more than 4,600 people, mostly in China, since the outbreak began in Wuhan City in December last year. Over 126,000 people have been infected according to the Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 global tracker.

The World Health Organization now considers COVID-19 a pandemic.

According to the WHO the most commonly reported symptoms are fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. WHO said eight in ten, or around 80 percent, of infected patients experience "mild illness" and eventually recover from COVID-19. Some 14 percent experience severe illness while 5 percent were critically ill, the WHO said.

To prevent infection, authorities are urging people to practice regular hand washing, cover the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and avoid close contact with those who exhibit virus symptoms.

CNN Philippines' Triciah Terada contributed to this report.