"Community Quarantine" in Metro Manila + What Else You Need to Know About The IATF Resolution
In a nutshell.
(SPOT.ph) Alert levels over the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines has been raised to Code Red, Sub-level 2. Everyone was pretty much glued to their screens as President Rodrigo Duterte announced tonight, March 12, how life in Metro Manila was set to change in the next few weeks—especially with the disease now being defined as infecting people within the community at a rate that can't be kept up with, according to the Department of Health.
Without ever using the term "lockdown," President Duterte has announced several measures to be undertaken in response to COVID-19.
Here's a summary of the most important parts of Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution No. 11, Series of 2020:
Community Quarantine in All of Metro Manila
Suspensions and Travel Bans
Starting Sunday, March 15, people will no longer be allowed to go in and out of the Metro as they please. Land, air, and sea travel will be banned until April 14, 2020. It has not been clarified if movement within the Metro will also be limited.
The current suspension of classes in all levels in Metro Manila has also been extended until April 12, 2020. Both travel and class suspensions will be subject to a daily review of the inter-agency task force assigned to handle the disease's spread and may change, clarified the President.
Overseas Filipino Workers, on the other hand, will be allowed to travel to China—except for Hubei, where the disease first appeared—after signing a declaration stating that they understand the risks.
The Metro's train lines—Metro Rail Transit Line 3, Light Rail Transit Lines 1 and 2, as well as the Philippine National Railway—will continue operating with social-distancing measures applied. Mass gatherings, whether "planned or spontaneous," have also been banned.
On the Workforce
The government will also keep a skeletal workforce going to keep services operational. As for the private sector, a flexible work schedule is recommended as long as companies can enfore strict social distancing.
The police and the military will also be in place to implement the measures. "Hindi ito martial law. It is not a martial law. It is not even something extraordinary. But what is sought to be solved here is the again, walang iba except to fight the virus, and to exact compliance," said the President.