Philippines reports 45 new coronavirus infections, total 187

Motorists wait in line as they attempt to cross a checkpoint on the border of the City of San Pedro and the City of Muntinlupa in Metro Manila, Philippines, on March 17, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MANILA (REUTERS) - The Philippines' health ministry on Tuesday (March 17) reported 45 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, bringing the country's total to 187, all but three of those in the past 11 days.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday ordered an community quarantine covering more than half of the 107 million population to stem the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed 12 people there.

The Philippines suspended financial markets on Tuesday, the first trading shutdown in a world struggling to rein in the virus. Authorities said international airports in Manila and Clark would be closed to citizens, amid an expected exodus of foreigners before the expiry of a 72-hour deadline to leave.

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