Couples in the Philippines Tie the Knot En Masse Amid Coronavirus Fears

Footage from the Bacolod Public Information Office shows 220 couples wearing face masks and tying the knot in a government-sponsored mass wedding, Thursday, February 20, in the central Philippine city of Bacolod, amid the threat of the new coronavirus.

South Korea has raised its alert level for the coronavirus disease to the highest level and President Moon Jae-in urged officials to not hesitate to take “unprecedented powerful measures” to contain the outbreak.

As new cases were reported Sunday, President Moon said “The next few days will be crucial,” following a government meeting on the virus. The couples in the Philippines are required to fill out health and travel history forms before saying “I do” as a precautionary measure as the country recorded three cases of virus infections.

China reported 648 new infections Sunday, for a total of 76,936. It said 97 more people had died, raising the death toll in the country to 2,442.

Outside China, more than 1,200 people have been infected with the virus and more than a dozen have died. (VOA/AFP)