Metro Manila mayors have agreed to impose a two-week curfew all over the region to control the surge of COVID-19 cases, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Benhur Abalos Jr. announced yesterday.
All cities in the National Capital Region will have a 10pm to 5am curfew which will start on Monday, March 15.
Several cities, however, have exempted some people from the curfew. In Caloocan City, employees are exempted but they need to present their IDs. Employees are also exempted in Muntinlupa, as well as health workers and authorized persons outside of their residence.
In Pasay City, workers, people in emergency situations, and travelers of aircraft and water vessels are exempted. Meanwhile, in San Juan, health workers, the military, police, local government officials on duty, employees traveling to and from their offices, delivery services, transport drivers, and people in emergency situations are not covered by the curfew. Abalos said that penalties for violators will depend on each city’s local ordinances.
Abalos described the rise in COVID cases as “alarming,” based on the studies conducted by the independent OCTA Research: there were 1,411 cases recorded daily from March 4 to 10, while there were only 360 cases per day logged from Feb. 4 to Feb. 10. Mayors will go back to the fundamentals of controlling the pandemic, such as testing and contact tracing, and they will close a street or village to control the surge, he said.
Metro Manila, the home of 14 million people, is the country’s economic and political powerhouse. The Office of the President is located in Manila City while the financial districts are in Makati City and Taguig City.
The Philippines has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia, with 607,048 recorded as of yesterday, including 546,671 recoveries and 12,608 deaths. The Duterte government has started inoculating health workers, the last in the region to do so.