Social media is now abuzz following the coronavirus outbreak that envelopes parts of China.
Recent reports have confirmed that almost 3,000 people across China have been infected, while death toll has reached 80, according to international news agencies.
China has elevated the outbreak to “emergency level” in its efforts to contain the health crisis in the country.
In the Philippines, the Department of Health (DoH) reported this Monday, January 27, that they are investigating 11 patients, who are suspected of the coronavirus.
There are no confirmed cases yet.
Meanwhile, local celebrities—among them Sharon Cuneta and her husband Senator Kiko Pangilinan, Lea Salonga, Jason Abalos, Mike Tan, and Bianca Gonzalez—have joined the many netizens posting their concerns and warnings about the highly contagious virus.
The Megastar posted a series of tweets about the coronavirus last Friday, January 24.
Her tweets mainly focused on preventive measures that can be taken to be safe from the virus.
Sharon also highlighted the part that says the virus has no cure yet.
Her husband, Senator Kiko, posted a similar tweet.
Meanwhile, Lea expressed her concern when she reposted the link of a news item last week, saying the family members of the first reported Wuhan coronavirus case flew to Manila.
The Broadway star was sarcastic in her tweet: “This should be fun. (Sarcasm is fully on.)”
She also shared another link about the study that snakes could be the original source of the virus that causes respiratory illness.
Together with the link, Lea tweeted: “No hate towards the snake-lovers here...”
She also retweeted a report about the Philippines no longer accepting passengers from Wuhan, China.
Kapuso actor Jason Abalos tweeted: “This wuhan coronavirus is alarming, gusto ko na lang mamundok!”
Mike Tan, another Kapuso actor, retweeted links of reports on Taiwan’s temporary suspension of visa application for Chinese nationals and the banning of Chinese nationals from Hubei province in light of the outbreak.
The actor favored the move of Taiwan: “Perhaps we should do the same thing here?”
He also retweeted a link about wearing of face masks as a preventive measure against the coronavirus, and another link from the World Health Organization about measures of prevention.
Meanwhile, ABS-CBN host Bianca Gonzalez called for vigilance, and asked netizens to avoid spreading fake news or unverified reports that could only aggravate the crisis.
Simply put, Bianca is calling for netizens to think before clicking.
The host tweeted: “..in other news, please stop sharing unverified 'reports' from Twitter or Facebook about the Novel Coronavirus.
“Let us help spread info like how to stay protected, and not be part of spreading fear and panic.”
Health Secretary Francisco Duque made a similar appeal this Monday.
"It’s not yet here,” said Sec. Duque in an interview with ANC’s Dateline Philippines.
He then appealed, “I call upon everyone not to be an instrument of propagation of misinformation, which we call an 'infodemic' that will do no good except create anxiety and fear in our people."
WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS?
According to WebMD, the coronavirus is responsible for causing respiratory diseases, and is not deadly.
However, a new strain, the 2019-n-CoV or the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, is a deadly kind and has now turned into an outbreak in the region beginning December 2019.
The virus can cause diseases, such as common colds, coughing, to serious respiratory illnesses, such as pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, to kidney problems and even death.
Symptoms include colds, respiratory problems, difficulty and shortness of breath, and fever.
As preventive measures, personal hygiene, staying away from animals, wearing face masks, and avoiding contact with people with symptoms are highly encouraged.
There have been a number of cases reported in China, and just recently, one or two cases have been reported in Thailand, Singapore, France, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Nepal, Taiwan, and the United States.