Metro Manila under 'lockdown' as Covid-19 threat persists

Metro Manila is now under lockdown as President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night raised the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) alert system to Code Red sublevel 2 following a continuous rise in the number of infected persons in the country.

Based on a resolution adopted by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases, “community quarantine” will be imposed in Metro Manila.

Pres. Duterte said this is equivalent to a “lockdown” but clarified that no military or police power will be used.

Among the provisions in the resolution include an extension of class suspensions in all levels in Metro Manila until April 12, 2020 provided students continue to fulfill their education requirements.

In addition, mass gatherings are now also prohibited.

For labor, the private sector is encouraged to offer “flexible work arrangements” to employees. All health and emergency frontline services will remain in full operation, while all manufacturing, retail and service establishments are advised to continue operations provided they observe strict social distancing measures.

For transportation, land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila shall be suspended starting March 15 to April 14.

The Philippines is now under a state of public health emergency after the Department of Health reported the first known local transmission.