The country’s longest-running noontime show Eat Bulaga temporarily suspended the admission of a live studio audience, perhaps the first time in its 41-year history, after the Philippines was placed in a state of public health emergency due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Eat Bulaga’s management released their official statement on social media.
“In view of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines, which has placed the country in a state of public health emergency, the management of Eat Bulaga has decided to temporarily suspend the admission of a live studio audience in the airing of its show, to help prevent the spread of the virus and to ensure the health and safety of it talent, staff, crew and member of its audience,” the management said.
One of the Eat Bulaga hosts, Joey de Leon, told The STAR that they don’t know how long the ban will last.
“We were just told about it when we got to the studio yesterday morning. A sign was placed at the entrance that we won’t be accepting ‘live’ audience for the meantime, but we don’t know how long it will last,” said De Leon.
The hosts and production themselves have taken precautionary measures to avoid the coronavirus. “No more beso-beso, no more kissing, no more shaking hands, just a simple ‘hi’ or ‘hello’ from a distance.” The hosts might be required to wear masks on air, he added.
Nevertheless, the show assured the public that they will continue to entertain their audience everyday. Their statement came after Mayor Joy Belmonte of Quezon City confirmed the first COVID-19 case in the city. GMA’s Eat Bulaga is filmed in QC.
To help fight the spread of the coronavirus, health officials have advised the public to stay away from large crowds, practice social distancing and avoid unnecessary travel.