President Duterte has placed entire Luzon under “enhanced community quarantine” following the rapid surge of coronavirus cases in the country.
The President has expanded the strict quarantine measure outside Metro Manila in a bid to limit the movement of the people and avert the spread of the coronavirus.
“PRRD just announced an enhanced community quarantine in the entire Luzon,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a message to reporters.
Under the enhanced community quarantine, the government implement strict home quarantine, suspend transportation, regulate the provision for food and essential health services, and heighten presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures. The President’s order will take effect immediately, according to Panelo.
“It means absolute lockdown or total lockdown. It means that all persons will be subjected to strict home quarantine, no movement and no transportation except only for frontline health workers, authorized government officials, medical or humanitarian reasons as well as transport of basic services and necessities,” Panelo said in a television interview.
Panelo said there will be “suspension of work” while the enhanced community quarantine is in effect in Luzon. “It means we will have to stay at home. Work will be suspended,” he said.
The President made the decision during a meeting with inter-agency task force on the management of emerging infectious disease in Malacañang Monday.
Prior to the President’s decision, Metro Manila has been placed under “community quarantine” to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
In the memorandum signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea last weekend, the “general community quarantine” involves the movement of people will be limited to accessing basic necessity and uniformed personnel and quarantine officers shall be present at border points.
Earlier, Panelo said the President was “worried” about the outbreak of the disease and will review the recommendation for a total lockdown of Metro Manila and possibly expanding quarantine in other provinces.
The government has raised the highest alert level over the coronavirus and placed Metro Manila under community quarantine to curb the spread of the deadly virus. The stringent social distancing measures in the National Capital, including a travel ban to and from the region and ban on mass gatherings, will remain in effect until April 14.
Entire Luzon under quarantine amid surge of COVID cases. (Genalyn Kabiling)