March 13, 2020

Duterte Announces Travel Restrictions and Community Quarantine in Metro Manila Amid COVID-19 Threats

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  • Now characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the outbreak of the new coronavirus disease or COVID-19 is continuously rising. This assessment was made due to alarming levels of spread and severity as well as inaction since the said outbreak started in China in December 2019.

    With more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries and 4,291 mortalities as of March 12, the numbers are still expected to climb. In relation to that, affected countries have been coming up with various mechanisms in order to deal with today’s global dilemma.

    Coronavirus illustration/IMAGE Center for Disease Control and Prevention

    In the Philippines, a State of Public Health Emergency was declared throughout the entire country on March 8.

    As of writing, there are already 52 confirmed cases and five mortalities, paving its way for the country to raise the Code Alert System for the COVID-19 public health event to Code Red Sublevel 2, which means that there is proof of community transmission and prevalence of cases beyond what the government can address.

    Also read: Duterte Declares Public Health Emergency Due to Increased COVID-19 Cases in PH

    In his address to the nation regarding COVID-19 updates, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the Department of…

    Presidential Communications (Government of the Philippines)さんの投稿 2020年3月12日木曜日

    With this, President Rodrigo Duterte announced in his Address to the Nation last March 12 travel restrictions and community quarantine in Metro Manila as recommended by the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) declared in Resolution No. 11.

    IMAGE Presidential Communications Operations Office

    Management of Emerging Infectious Disease

    Section 15, Article II of the 1987 Constitution stated that “the State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.” Recognizing the need for an inter-sectoral collaboration, the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) was created.

    By the virtue of Executive Order No. 168, series of 2014, the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) was made to establish preparedness and ensure efficient government response to assess, monitor, contain, control, and prevent the spread of any potential epidemic in the Philippines.

    Recommendations for the Management of the COVID-19 Situation

    As stated in Resolution No. 11, the Department of Health Technical Advisory Group imposed “Stringent Social Distancing Measures in the National Capital Region (NCR)” that should be adopted for 30 days from the issuance of the said resolution.

    Suspension of classes in all levels in Metro Manila is also extended until April 12. In relation to this, the Local Government Units (LGUs), with the supervision of the Department of Interior and Local Government, will be “responsible for implementing measures to ensure that students remain in their homes during the said duration.”

    Moreover, mass gatherings defined as planned or spontaneous events will also be prohibited during the said period.

    President Rodrigo Roa Duterte officially announced the extension of class suspension in all levels in Metro Manila until…

    Presidential Communications (Government of the Philippines)さんの投稿 2020年3月12日木曜日

    Community quarantine is also imposed in the entirety of Metro Manila, wherein LGUs in other areas are advised to follow guidelines in imposing localized community quarantine in their respective jurisdiction:

    Barangay-wide Quarantine Advised when there are at least two positive COVID-19 cases belonging to different households in the same barangay
    Municipality/City-wide Quarantine Advised when there are at least two positive COVID-19 cases belonging to different barangays in the same municipality/city
    Province-wide Quarantine Advised when there are at least two positive COVID-19 cases belonging to different municipalities, component cities or independent component cities in the same province

    Further, LGUs which have imposed community quarantine in their respective areas upon the declaration of a State of Calamity shall be allowed to access their Quick Response Fund.

    In line with this, the Mayor of municipality of Cainta in Rizal has announced that the town will undergo quarantine after three confirmed cases in the area.

    Duterte also announced that work in the executive branch is suspended during the said period “without prejudice to the formation of skeletal workforces by government agencies” to maintain the unimpeded delivery of services to the public.

    Meanwhile, health and emergency frontline services shall continue in full operation as well as the legislative branch and the judiciary.

    For the private sector, flexible work arrangements are encouraged. Along with this, the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Trade and Industry shall issue guidelines to safeguard the welfare of the workers.

    Having said that, all manufacturing, retail, and service establishments are also advised to remain in operation during the said period, all while observing strict social distancing measures by their respective managements.

    The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases calls on private firms to implement a flexible work schedule…

    Philippine News Agencyさんの投稿 2020年3月12日木曜日

    Having said that, all manufacturing, retail, and service establishments are also advised to remain in operation during the said period, while the strict social distancing measures will be observed by their respective managements.

    Mass public transports such as the Light Rail Transit (LRT), Metro Rail Transit (MRT), and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) should continue in operation as well. Guidelines shall be given by the Department of Transportation to ensure social distancing in the said transports.

    In addition, land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila is also suspended staring March 15 (12 m.n.) to April 14, 2020 (11:59 p.m.).

    The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has also announced that those who are living outside Metro Manila that works in the metropolis and vice versa shall still be allowed in and out as long as they provide a valid company ID at checkpoints to be set up by the Philippine National Police.

    However, DILG also assured that the flow of goods to and from Metro Manila will not be affected. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority has lifted the number coding scheme for both private and public vehicles starting March 13 until further notice.

    On the other hand, the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are allowed to travel to mainland China except to Hubei Province, provided that a health advisory pamphlet should be handed out to the OFWs upon departure.

    Restrictions in entry travel of those who are traveling from countries with localized COVID-19 transmissions is also imposed except for Filipino citizens, including their foreign spouse and children. This also applies to holders of Permanent Resident Visa and Diplomat Visas issued by the Philippine Government.

    The aforementioned measures are said to be subjected to close monitoring and reassessment after seven days from the issuance of the resolution.

    Along with these recommendations, Duterte also asked Filipinos to have patience and to help each other for it is for their own good, too.

    In this time of crisis, obeying health authorities and not downplaying the COVID-19 threat are the best things to do.

    Also read: Ways to Be Safe From Covid-19 Pandemic


    Source: Resolution No. 11, Series of 2020: Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease
    Images grabbed from World Health Organization, Presidential Communications Communications Office, Philippine News Agency

               
               
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