Japan calls for temporary closure of public schools amid COVID-19 spread
Children walk to school in Nagoya, Japan on Friday. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on schools to close nationwide from March 2 for several weeks to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. Jiji Press/EPA-EFE
Behold, the novel coronavirus
This handout illustration image obtained February 27, 2020 courtesy of the National Institutes of Health taken with a scanning electron microscope shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow) also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19 isolated from a patient in the US, emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab. President Donald Trump has played down fears of a major coronavirus outbreak in the United States, even as infections ricochet around the world, prompting a ban on pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
China is no longer the only breeding ground for the deadly virus as countries fret over possible contagion coming from other hotbeds of infection, including Iran, South Korea and Italy. There are now more daily cases being recorded outside China than inside the country, where the virus first emerged in December, according to the World Health Organization. National Institutes of Health Via AFP
South Korea reports spike in COVID-19 cases
People wait in line to buy masks as it rains in front of a department store in Seoul, South Korea, Friday. South Korea’s Centers for Disease and Control Prevention reported 2,022 cases of COVID-19 infection, which killed 13. Kim Hong-Ji, Reuters
ABS-CBN employees pray for franchise renewal
ABS-CBN employees hear mass at the network's compound in Quezon City Friday to pray for the network's franchise renewal, which has yet to be discussed at the House of Representatives even as it ends on May 4, 2020. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra recently said that Congress may allow the National Telecommunications Commission to issue the network provisional authority to continue operating pending its franchise renewal. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Students slam ROTC, tuition hike
A bus driver waits in traffic as students and other youth groups hold a protest in front of Far Eastern University in Manila after walking out of their classrooms on Friday. The protesters slammed the Duterte administration’s approval of reported tuition hikes for the incoming academic year, mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) service, and various other issues. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Calling on Congress
Press freedom advocates gather in front of ABS-CBN Corp.’s headquarters in Quezon City as they call on Congress to tackle the bills seeking the network’s franchise renewal on Friday. Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno said earlier during an interview that as per the Public Telecommunications Policy Act of the Philippines, an NTC permit ordered by Congress would allow ABS-CBN to remain on air.
Congress is set to adjourn for the Lenten break on March 14 and reconvene in May. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Benguet farmers feel the pinch
Farmers in Benguet load cabbage onto a truck to be sold in different markets including Manila on Friday. An over abundance of supply, coupled with few buyers, has forced farmers to sell cabbages for as low as P6 a kilo. Alren Beronio, ABS-CBN News