Philippines' COVID-19 death toll climbs to 18, cases now at 230

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 20) — The Department of Health on Friday reported that an 18th patient has died from the coronavirus disease in the country.

A 65-year-old Filipino man from Quezon City passed away on Tuesday, the DOH said in its 4:00 p.m. bulletin. The patient recently traveled to Singapore, and is the second Quezon City resident to die from COVID-19.

Meanwhile, 13 more people have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the Philippines to 230.

The number of recoveries stays at eight.

President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the entire island of Luzon under enhanced community quarantine, restricting people’s movement to contain the spread of COVID-19. Several areas outside Luzon have also shut their borders.

Worldwide, COVID-19 has killed more than 10,000 people, mostly in China, since the outbreak began in Wuhan City in December last year. Over 244,500 people have been infected, according to the Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 global tracker.

The World Health Organization said the most commonly reported symptoms are fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. The WHO said eight in ten, or around 80 percent, of infected patients experience "mild illness" and eventually recover from COVID-19. Some 14 percent experience severe illness while 5 percent were critically ill, the WHO said.

To prevent infection, authorities are urging people to practice regular hand washing, cover their mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and avoid close contact with those who exhibit virus symptoms.