Thursday, January 30, 2020

Philippines Underscores Commitment to ASEAN-ROK Film Cooperation

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Film agencies from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Republic of Korea (ROK) have been coming together over the past few years to foster better ties within the region. As 2020 had just begun, film agency heads from the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and South Korea proved their dedication to the ASEAN-ROK convergence once more by participating in the 2020 1st ASEAN-ROK Film Agency Meeting at Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay from January 20 to 21.

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) continued its commitment to the ASEAN-ROK group, being one of the frontrunners for pushing for the creation of the ASEAN-ROK Film Cooperation Organisation (ARFO). “Our objective for this mission is to lay down our 2020 regional film cooperation plan as we simultaneously continue to work towards the establishment of ARFO, a governmental organization that will function like the European Union of the ASEAN region, and create programs and initiatives to support the film industries of all ASEAN member states,” explained FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.

During the working group session with the heads of Korean Film Council (KOFIC), Singapore Film Commission, Cinema and Cultural Diffusion Department of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts in Cambodia, Film Development Center under the Ministry of Information in Myanmar, and Vietnam Cinema Department of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, Diño shared FDCP’s new programs that aim to widen support mechanisms to accommodate not just Filipino film industry stakeholders but also ASEAN filmmakers.

“I always believe that collaboration is key and the spirit of working together is integral to our region's success. I really have a good feeling that 2020 is going to be a game changer for the Asian region's film industry,” added Diño. The ASEAN-ROK technical working group also had conversations on film industry project proposals about archiving, research, education and training, box-office system, and content promotion. In addition, the 2020 ASEAN-ROK Film Cooperation Plan was discussed. Other member states involved in ASEAN-ROK are Indonesia, Brunei, Laos, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Diño then took the time to thank her counterparts from Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Singapore, and South Korea. The 1st ASEAN-ROK Film Agency Meeting for 2020 was sponsored by Singapore under the leadership of Singapore Film Commission Director Joachim Ng. Diño also gave special mention to KOFIC Chairman Oh Seok-geun. “KOFIC, as the national film agency of South Korea, is leading this movement to form a regional cooperation hub among ASEAN member states. The Philippines, through FDCP, is in full support of this initiative and has been participating in all roundtable discussions and meetings towards the achievement of this ambitious but very noble vision,” she commented.

In 2019, three ASEAN-ROK Governmental Roundtable Sessions were held: Bangkok, Thailand in July, followed by Cebu, Philippines in August (hosted by FDCP), and succeeded by Busan, South Korea in November. Meanwhile, the ASEAN-ROK Filmmakers Brainstorming Session took place in Busan in August, the ASEAN-ROK Culture Innovation Summit was mounted in Busan in November, and the ASEAN 3-ROK Filmmakers Network was held in Cambodia in December.

“When we share our stories, there are no bounds to it. It’s always based on our own cultural identities, our way of showing who we are, and our way of showing how important it is to share our stories as people and our stories as a country. I hope that as we move further into the realization of this regional collaboration, we bear in mind that the most important thing is we are working together,” Diño stated.

The efforts to form ARFO is backed by the various successes of ASEAN-ROK and Southeast Asian initiatives that FDCP has been ardently supporting. Among these are the ASEAN-ROK FLY Film Lab and Southeast Asia Fiction Film Lab (SEAFIC). FDCP has also mounted its own Project Market and Film Industry Conference with the goal of connecting Filipino talents to ASEAN counterparts.

Once ARFO becomes official, it is expected that there will be improvements in film industries across ASEAN and South Korea, with upgrades in skills and technology, opportunities in talent exchange, sharing of resources, collaborations in production and film distribution, developments in policy-making, enhancements in educational programs, more incentives in film location promotions, reinforcements in film archiving, and possibly, the establishment of an ASEAN Film Fund.

DOTr to Remit Millions in Collected Fines to Treasury from Erring PETCs

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is set to remit millions of pesos to the government’s coffers as it continues to impose stringent sanction against erring Private Emission Testing Centers (PETCs).

PETCs are authorized private facilities of the DOTr which are engaged in testing the level of opacity and analysis of the gaseous emission of a motor vehicle in accordance with Republic Act 8749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act.

DOTr, through its Investigation, Security and Law Enforcement Staff (ISLES) and Franchising Review Staff (FRS) have recorded millions of pesos worth of fines collected from numerous PETCs nationwide with violations ranging from having no testing probes, no testing machines, to the non-appearance of vehicles for testing or falsification of test results.

The agency notes a significant increase in fines collected starting 2017.

For the year 2017, ISLES/FRS only collected a total of PhP90,000 in fines from three PETCs, while a total of PhP450,000 in fines were collected from six PETCs in 2018.

In 2019, ISLES/FRS received a whopping PhP10,890,000 in collected fines for the period of April to December from 89 erring PETCs nationwide.

For the period of January 1 to January 27, 2020 alone, there were already 86 PETCs that have been found to commit violations.

These erring testing centers have paid a sum of PhP9,990,000 in penalties.

DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade meanwhile expressed his disapproval as the violations committed by these testing centers endanger not just the lives of the public, but also harms the environment.

“This increasing number of violators is a clear manifestation of their defiance to the law. Your accreditation as emission testing center is just a privilege given to you by the government. Do not wait for us to issue suspension orders or revocation of your permits to operate,” Secretary Tugade warns.

BUSINESS STUDENT SUMMIT 2020: Convergence, The Epiphany of Business Analytics

Turn now your curiosity into discoveries!

Presenting to you the PUP Taguig - Junior Marketing Association most anticipated event entitled,

“BUSINESS STUDENT SUMMIT 2020: Convergence, The Epiphany of Business Analytics”

Happening today, January 30, 2020 from 12:00 pm until 5:00 pm at Taguig City University - Auditorium.

Powered by:
Food Panda
Tolak Angin

Mogu Mogu Manila
Glutaphos Neurotonic

Major Sponsors:
Gardenia Philippines
Deli Stationery PH
Clover Chips
Cheezy Corn Crunch
Aztec PH - The No. 1 Online Magazine for Business and Franchise Opportunities in the Philippines.

Minor Sponsor:
Lolane Philippines

Special Thanks:
Harry Chocolate PH
Wackie Corn Chips
Kettle Korn PH - Ang whole grain popcorn na Ayaw Paawat Ang Sarap!
Red Bull
Beach Hut Sunblock
Sinalco Philippines
Ladouce Tampons Philippines

Special Contributor:
Asian Air Safari
Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Official Event Partners:
Wazzup Pilipinas
Tech Kuya

See you there!


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Magellan Voyage Quincentennial Kick-Off, SEA Games Ceremonies Dazzle Through Immersive Technology

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The opening and closing ceremonies of the recently concluded 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Philippine Arena and Clark City still makes jaws drop whenever the sounds and sights of it come to mind.

The brave and colorful Filipino spirit came to life on stage, providing glimpses of our art and culture, our tribal roots, old society elegance, and modern soul. The impressive, mind-blowing visual images that constantly changed, evolved and defied the imagination, added a new dimension to entertainment. They enhanced the storytelling and delivered the message with both sensitivity and punch.

Last December, another dazzling production kicked off the 500-day countdown to the 500 years of the Victory of Mactan in Cebu. The one-hour cultural show entitled “Mangayaw; The World of Our Ancestors” showcased graceful choreography, original music, and a captivating production of dazzling visuals. The Quincentennial Celebration aimed to highlight the heroism and importance of Lapu Lapu in Philippine history.

What audiences probably do not know is that the unsung hero of both the SEA Games and the Quincentennial kick-off is immersive technology. It can make everything magical and bigger than life. Captivating visual images that were constantly changing, evolving and defying the imagination added a new dimension to the viewing experience. They enhanced the storytelling and delivered the message with both sensitivity and punch.

In the Quincentennial kick-off, Video Mapping Technology by IMMRSV ASIA INC. helped transformed the show from just great to stupendous. Immersive technology was the creative tool that amplified the action to retell and relive early scenes of Philippine history.

Lutgardo Labad, noted composer and multi-awarded director of music and theater who led the presentation, said he was “completely swept away by the innovative technology of projection mapping”. “Before, props were firm and set with some finality in their tones and colors. But in my first-time experience of witnessing video or projection mapping, the texture of the physical backdrop: floors, walls and ceilings, became a new breed of characters themselves. They accentuate the emotions and provide a dynamic engagement with the human characters.”

“Immersive technology is a new tool that can turn any size wall, building façade, blank space or object into a screen that tells stories, teaches lessons, conveys information or evokes all sorts of emotion. It makes audiences act and respond to the events in a positive way because the audience becomes part of the message. That’s why brands, sports and government use immersive technology these days to kick off events, launch products, inaugurate places and promote tourism or mark special occasions. It’s the best storytelling tool,” said Tony Gloria, chairman and co-founder of IMMRSV Asia who also founded and chairs Optima Digital and UxS (Unitel/Straight Shooter).

“Using creative imagination with the help of 360-degree video, virtual reality and the unique application of sound, light and projection creates eye-popping, mesmerizing experiences. This innovative creative execution never fails to wow and send the message across. How can you forget something that you have been part of, or that became a part of you?” he added.

Immrsv Asia worked on the notable 30th SEA Games closing ceremonies -- resulting in tech-driven productions that were perfect in execution, with mind-boggling visual displays and dramatic overhead shots that provided world-class entertainment for all.

Mart Miranda, CEO of Video Sonic and co-founder / president of IMMRSV Asia says immersive technology creates modern day magic. And it has a lot of applications. Museum exhibits, for example, can bring historical figures to life through augmented reality. Julius Caesar can speak and tell his version of the Ides of March to students. Prehistoric animals can roam the premises so guests can measure their height against them. Theme parks can amp up the excitement and overall experience with headsets and touchscreen magic. “In fact, any one and anything can use immersive technology to achieve any desired effect,” said Miranda, whose IMMRSV firm recreated Hogwarts using immersive technology for a Harry Potter-themed party.

Sporting events have been ahead of the curve in embracing immersive technology, Miranda shared. “That’s because sports fans demand high-impact effects so they can better listen, watch and experience the action. New immersive technologies and apps have changed the ways that fans interact with teams, players and brand sponsors. Opening ceremonies of sports events have all benefited from immersive technology.”

“We have the creative vision, the talent, technology and equipment to achieve something local audiences have never seen. We can fuse existing technologies and creative approaches to create amazing, magical effects. Trust the innate art and capability of the Filipino. And trust the forward vision of our creative and production talents,” added Tony Gloria.

Now is the time to embrace these new mediums and let the world know that immersive domes, projection mapping, virtual augmented reality, air scan technology, 3D animation graphics, LED Baton, digital graffiti, holograms, interactive videos, interactive touch walls, dynamic thoughts and laser mapping are all here to help deliver the perfect message, Miranda concluded.

How Android Vs iOS User Behaviour Influences the Development for Your App?

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Well, it is hard to say hat your target audience is looking for. Whether they would require your app or not is a tough nut to crack.

User behaviour is also dependent on the type of OS they are using.

When you understand the nature of Android and iOS users, it will also help you to know which user group is likely to buy your products.

Ultimately, this gives you a clear idea about which platform to use for the mobile app development project.

By knowing the user’s choice of smartphone, you can acquire the information about the statistics.

For example, according to a survey, the iOS user tends to have more income than Android users. Through this information, you can have a clear understanding of how much money you can invest in your product.

Even if your product would be costly, but give benefits in terms of service, iOS users are going to buy. (Higher-income factor)

When your monetisation strategy is dependent on in-app purchases, the iOS app is the most profitable platform you could have.

If you think to monetise through ads, relying on Android is a reliable option for you.

The main objective of any app is to offer a solution to a certain problem faced by the majority of people.

If you are also not aware of user behaviour and how it will affect the development of your app, read our article.

Beneath are some of the influential differences between iOS and Android users that will assist you in determining each platform easily.

If you want to develop your app in a short time, you can carry your Android development in Sydney from a reputed company.

Device Quality and features

There are some prominent differences between iOS and Android devices that influence the user experience and this also can be the reason you might choose one against another.

For instance, Android does not have any stringent regulation when it comes to app submission in the play store, whereas it is indeed very difficult to get permission to submit an app in the App store.

Android users lay more emphasis on freedom and customizability, which helps them to customise their phone according to their particular needs.

The iOS app takes a long time to develop and here the verification process is also very secure.

iOS users have the facility of the more consistent and intuitive app experience, which is a virtue appreciated by all its users.

Spending Behaviour of the Consumer

Knowing how each user would pay for in-app purchases or app is not at all easy.

There is a huge gap between the spending of an Android user for an app and iOS user.

According to a survey, the Google play store only generated $24.8 billion USD whereas the App store generated 2X income that is $46.6 billion USD.

iOS users mostly spend more on cosmetics and clothing. This information can be very much beneficial for brands that are working hard to create an app or want to generate income from the paid apps.

Android apps generally rely on mobile advertising because it is the main source of their revenue.

Demographics of the User

Today, Android holds a 2/3rd of the global market share. It is because of the popularity of Android users in developing countries and the lower-income class.

iOS is more popular in countries such as Uk, Japan, and North America for better income level and education.

Therefore, you can easily get access to reputed iOS app development services in Sydney.

Studies have also suggested that when app engagement is higher, it tends to do more investment for the app.

According to a mobile gaming app report by liftoff shows that women made more in-app purchases, which was 26 per cent higher than the men.

The factors like purchasing decisions, income, and location of the individuals impacted the engagement activities in enrolling subscription and in-app purchases. You must consider all these factors while planning to monetise for your next big project.

The demographic differences also play a vital role in influencing which type of app a user will download.

Engagement and Retention Ratio

iOS and Android users use their devices for finding the relevant content as per their needs.

iOS users bagged the title of power users for engaging with more content on their devices for a prolonged period of time.

The speed of notification is also faster in iOS in comparison to Android devices.

According to a survey conducted by Leanplum, iOS users roughly open a notification in seven minutes whereas Android users open the notification in 48 minutes.

You might not know that the number of media users chooses Android devices.

Android users generally prefer high performance, utility, and secure apps.

When it comes to security and performance of the app in different categories, android users spend fives times more money than iOS users.

There are various objectives such as reservation, Subscription, in-app purchases, and registration where requirement varies for Android and iOS.

The performance of certain goals like registration, reservation, purchase, in-app purchase, and subscription vary between iOS and Android.

iOS exceeds in all these categories, the only exception is the registration process where the android users have maximum benefits.

The Verdict - Android Vs iOS

When you are focusing on which platform is better for your mobile app, you have to analyse what is the purpose of your application.

What is more important for you, a number of users or engagement of the users?

When you find your designated goal, it becomes easy to make an investment for your app.

Frankly speaking, you must develop an app for both iOS and Android to reach the maximum audience base, however; this is not always possible.

Both the Android and iOS platform have their unique pros and cons, therefore when you understand the difference between them, it can help you to make more prominent decisions for the development of an app.

Monday, January 27, 2020

How Credit Scores and Ratings Affect Your Loan Application

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The first thing to know about a loan application is that it presents a level of risk to the bank or the financial institution that will receive such application, knowing very well that they might end up losing the money if the borrower does not pay the amount back. 

For this reason, such institutions thoroughly scrutinize every loan application in their effort to provide credit only to the most suitable borrower, one is trustworthy and capable enough to pay back the credit to be borrowed to them.

Credit scores and credit ratings

One way that financial institutions determine such capability is by the person’s credit score which quantifies the person’s level of “creditworthiness” or the chances that the person can repay their loans on time. 

The higher a person’s credit score, the greater the chances not only of receiving their requested credit but also of being eligible to be given a higher credit limit, whether for a loan or for a credit card. 

On the other hand, a lower credit score entails getting a lower credit than what is requested in the application, if not getting a declined application.

Determining a borrower’s credit score is not something financial institutions like licensed moneylenders do themselves. Instead, they rely on the help of the credit bureau, which serves as a database of borrowers’ information. 

While the credit bureau does not disclose the specifics of how it computes a borrower’s credit score, there are a number of factors that come into play:

 The amount of credit a borrower currently has
 The different credit vehicles the borrower has availed
 The payment terms including the length of payment given for a particular credit
 Credit payment history, which includes history of on-time payments and the amounts paid (if payments were less than the minimum payment required or not)

These factors are measured quantitatively by the credit bureau using a credit rating. The credit rating helps the credit bureau compute the borrower’s credit score that will determine whether they can get the credit being applied for. 

While a financial institution may have other criteria in approving loan applications, the credit rating and score provided by the credit bureau remains the most important factor they take into consideration.

Factors affecting credit scores and ratings

While the credit rating system may seem straightforward enough, this is complicated by the fact that there is more than one credit bureau in existence, and each credit bureau has its own credit rating system that they adhere to. 

This means that a borrower having certain credit score may be considered a “low-risk” borrower, which means he can avail certain credit, but another credit agency may consider the said score as a bit more “high-risk” of a borrower. 

More so, some financial institutions only rely on a single credit bureau for their information on their borrowers. This means if a credit bureau has a more stringent credit rating system in place, it might entail a slimmer chance for credit approval.

Credit ratings are also prone to errors such as wrong figures in the borrower’s outstanding amount or uncredited credit payments within the period generated in the report. Such mistakes can adversely affect a borrower’s credit scores, especially if one does not conduct due diligence on their credit information.

Fortunately, credit bureaus offer a free credit report at least once a year. It is advised especially for borrowers to take advantage of this offering to have a better idea of one’s financial health especially in terms of credit. 

This also provides an opportunity to dispute any mistakes in the credit report which may help improve the credit score as a result.

Credit “unscored” and “invisible”

Sometimes, credit bureaus may not provide a credit rating on a borrower who may have either very little credit information available (“unscored”) or have none at all (“invisible”), especially first time loan applicants. 

Without such credit information, these borrowers are deemed to be “high-risk” and would have difficulty applying for onlinecash loans in Philippines, though there are borrowers who are willing to make exceptions and help build the borrower’s credit history in the process.

5 Important Pointers to Remember When Preparing for Your Newborn Photography Session

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Congratulations! You have a bouncing new addition to your family.

Now you want to keep those precious memories close to your heart.

Many parents, first-timers or not, want to commemorate the milestones of their children. It is so they can look back on the memories when their kids grow up. This is especially true with newborns since they grow up so fast.

Newborn photography can be quite difficult compared to others. However, the difficulty should not divert one from keeping a record of these memories.  

It is important to keep a few pointers in mind when preparing for your newborn photography in Mebourne.

Book Your Newborn Photo Shoot As Soon As Possible

During pregnancy, one has a list of things to accomplish and prepare. It is imperative that you book your newborn photography session in advance.

Set a date when you want to have your newborn photoshoot. Once you have decided, have a target date where you can finalize the props and the theme of the newborn photoshoot. Have the target date be when you are 32 weeks pregnant. It gives ample time to work out the final details of your newborn photoshoot, but less time for you to change your mind.  

Remember that most photographers prefer the baby to be about 5-10 days old. This makes it easier for them to pose the babies because newborns tend to sleep for long periods of time.

Decide on a Vision for the Newborn Photoshoot

It is important to have a vision for the newborn photoshoot. You want to have an idea of what you want to be included in the newborn photoshoot. You should have the style and focus of the session ready in advance. It is also necessary to have any specialized props and clothes ready before the newborn photography session to avoid the hassle.

Additionally, you should talk to your newborn photographer. Communicate well what you want the photos to include. Be open to the creative ideas of the photographer. Be ready to collaborate so that you can have your ideal newborn photos ready.

Having a vision lessens your worry during the newborn photography session. It produces beautiful photos that you can keep forever. 

Pack a Baby Bag

You never know what you might encounter when you have a newborn. Accidents such as poop, vomit, and urine can happen. To avoid stress and worry, have a few things ready in your bag for easy access.
-       Change of diapers
-       Feeding bottles for the hungry baby
-       Extra baby clothes to change into
-       Special props for your newborn photoshoot
-       Pacifiers to comfort irritable babies
-       Blankets in case the baby gets cold. It can also be used as props.

Calm Your Baby During the Newborn Photography Session

Keeping your baby calm during the newborn photography session is crucial to have beautiful photos. Babies tend to do very well in studios when they are asleep or full.

Photographers advise parents to feed their babies an hour or 30 minutes before the photoshoot. This will ensure that the baby is sleepy and content.

Another way to keep the baby calm is to give a warm bath a few hours before the photoshoot. Warm baths make babies sleep and more amenable to be placed in cute poses for the photoshoot.

Have a bottle of formula or breast milk ready for the baby during the newborn photography session. Newborn photographers can use it to feed the baby mid-pose so they are relaxed and calm. A pacifier can double as a substitute for a bottle and a prop.

Most of your time during the newborn photoshoot will be spent feeding your baby. This will keep the newborn calm and content, resulting in beautiful newborn photos.

Dress In Comfort

Studio temperature tends to be set low for the baby’s comfort and to promote sleep. You should wear comfortables clothes for easy mobility.

Have extra changes of clothes for you and the rest of the family if you are included in the photoshoot. Studios should allow extra time for a wardrobe change.

For newborns, remember to dress them in button-up or zip-up outfits. The clothing for the newborn photoshoot should allow easy removal. This is so that the baby’s deep sleep will remain undisturbed. A baby’s newborn photography clothes should not go over the head as it will disturb sleep.


Newborn photoshoots can take time and test your patience. The newborn can easily become fussy or wake up due to positioning.

When you lose your patience, remember to relax. You will gain more in calming your baby and even gain beautiful photos as a result. Enjoy the time spent bonding with your baby and remember that they will not always remain that small.

The photos you get from the newborn photography session give you wonderful memories in the years to come.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) Termination Due to Senator Bato Dela Rosa's US VISA Cancellation

Wazzup Pilipinas!

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte earlier threatened to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) if the United States does not “correct” its cancellation of Senator Bato dela Rosa’s visa.

The termination of the VFA is a serious matter. We have fought for it since 1999. It is NOT a mere bargaining chip to get Bato back his US Visa. The termination of the VFA is needed because it is an affront to our national sovereignty.

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr eagerly puts the President's words in motion after the Philippine chief warned the US government it had one month to 'correct' Senator Ronald dela Rosa's canceled visa. He has asked Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to start the termination process, but also said that he and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana will contact the US Senate first to inform them of the country's intent to withdraw the agreement.

The abrupt termination of the VFA could deal a big blow to the country’s efforts to combat terrorism, warned a former envoy to the United States.

Renato Reyes Jr., Bayan secretary-general, said the termination of the VFA should be based on US’ alleged abuses of the treaty, and not because the visa of Dela Rosa was revoked.

Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon says an immediate scrapping of the VFA may compromise national security.

However, at the height of Duterte's threat to end the VFA with the United States, his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte was in the U.S. for a conference with American city mayors.

SARS, MERS and the CORONA Virus Alarms the World

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause infections ranging from the common cold to SARS.

China is now battling the deadly Corona Virus now. The said virus is being assumed to be 10x deadly than the previous two. But maybe because there were under-reporting when the SARS. People with Corona Virus are collapsing at various places in Wuhan, China.

It is said that most people will become infected with at least one coronavirus in their life. It is also said that the mutating abilities of the coronavirus are what make it so contagious. To prevent transmission, be sure to stay at home and rest while experiencing symptoms and avoid close contact with other people.

However, we still will have not identified how the virus spreads or infects people,  Will surgical masks be of use to contain the current coronavirus outbreak?

Is it true that the Coronavirus is spread through the EYES making surgical masks useless? I've read somewhere that a Dr. Wang, was who is said to have been a leading  figure in the fight against SARS virus that gripped China in 2003, has declared it. But this could be fake news since I see most people wearing masks.

The Novel corona is not fiction or creative non-fiction. It is real and deadly.

The public is informed of a new virus-the Corona Virus (nCov). The first cases reported were linked to a seafood and live animal market in Wuhan City, Hubei Province China with the first case confirmed on the 7th January 2020 in Wuhan City. 282 laboratory confirmed cases of corona virus were reported in four countries; China (278 cases), Thailand (2 cases), Japan (1 case) and the Republic of Korea (1 case) with 6 deaths reported to WHO since reporting of the first case.

Coronaviruses are mostly transmitted from animal to person (zoonotic). However, the new strain of coronavirus can pass from person to person. Some of the signs and symptoms of coronavirus infection may include respiratory symptoms like fever, cough and breathing difficulties.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness advises on the following, which include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:

• Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
• When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
• Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
• If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider

Anyone travelling to areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, are advised not to visit live markets, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.

The Ministry is intensifying preparedness measures including surveillance, alertness at the districts and ports of entry and continues to monitor the situation in close consultation with World Health Organization (WHO) and will keep the public updated.

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