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'Community Quarantine' In Metro Manila: What It Is, And How It Will Affect You

The 'community quarantine' will take effect from March 15 to April 14.
PHOTO: istockphoto

Updated On March 13, 2020 (10:00 a.m.)

President Rodrigo Duterte has shared guidelines for the government's response with the number of coronavirus disease or COVID-19 cases rising in the Philippines.

In a press briefing on March 12, President Duterte announced several measures that will take effect as the Philippines raised Code Red Sub-level 2 amid the outbreak. These were part of a resolution submitted by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease, which the President is considering turning into an Executive Order.

1. Classes in all levels in Metro Manila will remain suspended until April 12, 2020.

Local Government Units (LGUs) are to practice discretion when it comes to suspending classes within its respective municipalities.

2. Mass gatherings, both planned and spontaneous, will be banned.

Mass gatherings are defined as "events where the number of people attending could strain the planning and response resources of the community hosting the event."

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3. The government will be placing Metro Manila under "community quarantine."

During the community quarantine, Metro Manila residents are urged to stay at home and only leave their houses if absolutely necessary.

The quarantine will last for 30 days, from March 15 to April 14, 2020. Outside Metro Manila, local government units (LGUs) may implement barangay-wide, city-wide, municipality-wide, and provincial-wide community quarantines based on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in each locale:
• A barangay-wide quarantine is advised when there at least two (2) positive COVID-19 cases belonging to different households in the same barangay;
• A municipality/city-wide quarantine is advised when there at least two (2) positive COVID-19 cases belonging to different barangays in the same municipality/city;
• A province-wide quarantine is advised when there at least two (2) positive COVID-19 cases belonging to different municipalities, component cities or independent component cities in the same province; and
• LGUs, which have imposed community quarantine in their respective jurisdiction/s, upon the declaration of a State of Calamity, shall be allowed to access their Quick Response Fund.

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5. Mass public transports will continue to operate. 

LRT-1, LRT-2, MRT-3, and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) operations will continue and will follow guidelines issued by the Department Of Transportation. Social distancing will be enforced. 

6. Domestic travel via land, air, and sea to and from Metro Manila will be suspended until April 14, 2020.

Travel restrictions will be imposed on people coming in from countries with confirmed local transmissions of COVID-19, except for Filipino citizens. 

On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the rising number of COVID-19 cases around the world a pandemicdescribed as the “worldwide spread of a new disease". 

Earlier on March 12, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed 52 COVID-19 cases in the country. The latest reports indicate three additional deaths, those of a 62-year-old male and his 59-year-old wife, as well as of an 88-year-old female, bringing the country's total number of fatalities to five.

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With additional text by Lily Tabanera.