PH Navy postpones regional naval symposium, Int'l Fleet Review

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 5) — The country's hosting of the 17th Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) and the International Fleet Review (IFR) has been postponed indefinitely amid the continuing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The rapid increase of cases worldwide, which also affects 21 member countries and 8 observer states compelled the PN (Philippine Navy) to defer the historic convergence of navy chiefs and warships," the Philippine Navy stated in a press release Sunday.

The Philippine Navy will instead focus on helping frontliners contain the spread of the viral disease, as well as maximizing its capabilities to "mitigate the devastating effects of COVID-19."

The highly awaited events were set to happen mid next month, which would have coincided with the founding anniversary of the Philippine Navy on May 20.

The naval symposium is a biennial meeting of navies bordering the Western Pacific region.

The Philippines now has 3,246 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 152 deaths and 64 recoveries.