As the number of Covid-19 continues to rise globally, the President of Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, announced that he had ordered lockdown on Manila. This announcement was made yesterday (12 March) via national television broadcast, stating a halt on domestic land, sea, and air travel to and from Manila.
Mr Duterte had also announced school closures for a month and a ban on mass gatherings. Other than these precautionary measures, foreigners – from places where Covid-19 is spreading – are no longer allowed to enter the capital, as reported on CNA.
“It’s a lockdown. It’s just a matter of protecting and defending you from COVID-19. That’s about it,” said Mr Duterte.
Although the exact date of lockdown and all the preventive measures were yet to be fully revealed, Mr Duterte mentioned that the traffic in and out Manila via domestic land, sea, and air will be prohibited on Sunday (15 March).
Besides that, mass gatherings have also been banned while quarantines will be carried out in communities where cases are detected.
This particular lockdown is aimed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 as Manila is densely populated. As of 12 March, a total of 52 people have been tested positive for Covid-19 in the Philippines. Five deaths were confirmed by the Department of Health on 12 March.
The 74-year-old leader is also set to test for the coronavirus as he is under the vulnerable age group, on top of being in regular contact with Philippines officials who were previously exposed to Covid-19 patients.
Since the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the Covid-19 outbreak is now a pandemic, the organisation assured that this particular outbreak can be controlled as long as countries expand their responses to treat, detect and reduce transmissions.
The global Covid-19 count provided by the John Hopkins University records a total of more than 128,000 cases along with 4,720 deaths worldwide.
Lockdown in other countries
Other than the lockdown of Manila, countries like Italy, Denmark, and Ireland will also be undergoing nationwide lockdowns, according to the New York Post.
While the USA President, Donald Trump, had announced a travel ban from 26 European countries, except for the UK.
Malaysia, on the other hand, imposed a travel ban – that will be effective on 14 March – for the people coming from China, Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy, and Denmark.