GMA News TV temporarily goes off the air amid Luzon lockdown

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 18) — GMA’s news channel is temporarily going off the air starting Thursday amid the so-called enhanced community quarantine in Luzon aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19.

“Due to the current state of calamity, GMA News TV is temporarily signing off,” read GMA’s statement which was released Wednesday on its flagship newscast 24 Oras.

GMA reporter Tina Panganiban-Perez shared on Twitter photos of her on the set of GMA News TV’s State of the Nation, saying that she was anchoring the last episode of the late night newscast “before GMA News TV scales down operation starting tomorrow due to COVID-19.”

GMA anchor Arnold Clavio also announced on Instagram that GMA’s morning show Unang Hirit will only run for an hour and 30 minutes until Friday before going off the air beginning Monday “until further notice.”

ABS-CBN’s morning show Umagang Kay Ganda has also stopped airing due to limitations brought by the lockdown in Luzon.

CNN Philippines, meanwhile, is temporarily off the air for at least 24 hours as the management of Worldwide Corporate Center — the building which houses the network’s newsroom and studios and a number of other companies — disinfects the premises after confirming a COVID-19 case in one tenant's offices.

The government has put in place sweeping restrictions on the movement of people in Luzon after putting it on an “enhanced community quarantine” to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The number of people who have contracted COVID-19 in the Philippines has reached 202, with 17 of them dying.

Globally, 198,155 have been infected and 7,954 have died due to the disease, while 81,960 have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms are fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. Those with severe and critical symptoms should call the Health Department at (02) 8-651-7800 local 1149-1150.