Manila, March 9 (IANS) The Presidential Security Group (PSG) of the Philippines said on Monday that it will implement a “no-touch” policy on President Rodrigo Duterte to ensure his safety amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
“PSG will strictly implement preventive measures against the virus to ensure the safety of (the 74-year-old president) and the first family,” Xinhua news agency quoted PSG Commander Colonel Jesus Durante as saying in a statement.
Durante said people who are expected to get near Duterte especially during meetings and events will be thoroughly screened and tested for any illness related to COVID-19, including PSG personnel, politicians, and dignitaries.
“Large crowd gatherings with Duterte as guest of honour and speaker shall be assessed and could be canceled not only for his safety but also for the attendees,” he added.
The PSG Commander said all established health protocols and preventive measures are continuously in effect to all PSG personnel and the whole Malacanang presidential palace complex.
Durante added the PSG imposed the policy after the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) raised the COVID-19 alert system to code red sub-level 1 on Saturday after more cases were detected.
As of Sunday evening, the total number of confirmed cases in the country rose to 10 with one fatality.