(ANI): The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority in the Philippines on Saturday announced that a curfew, starting with immediate effect from March 15, will be imposed in the national capital region as part of community quarantine measures to contain the COVID-19 spread.
According to the local government units of Metro Manila, the unprecedented lockdown, which takes effect between March 15 and April 14, will bar domestic travel in and out of the capital and confine more than 12 million people to the area, Xinhua news agency reported. Metropolitan Manila Development Authority General Manager Jojo Garcia announced in a media briefing that the curfew will not cover all essential travel – including to and from a workplace.
Those who will buy food or medicine will also not be restricted from going out, CNN quoted Garcia as saying.
He also stressed that the police will not arrest those who will be seen outside but will just be advised to go home. Majority of the country’s 64 confirmed COVID-19 cases are confined in hospitals in Metro Manila. Six have died of COVID-19 infections in the country.
President Rodrigo Duterte, in an order, further announced to deploy police and military to instill “peace and order” during the lockdown, which was recommended earlier that day by an interagency committee.
He insisted the measure is “not martial law”. The killer virus has spread to more than 114 countries across the globe. The pandemic’s global death toll has reached almost 5,000, while the global number of cases has surpassed 132,000, according to the WHO. (ANI)