Firemen spray disinfectant to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at a market in Manila on March 11, 2020. (Photo: AFP)
Bangkok (People’s Daily) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire island of Luzon, the largest and most populous island in the country with at least 57 million people, under a month-long "enhanced community quarantine" on Monday.
The quarantine rule will take effect from midnight on March 17 to midnight on April 13.
Duterte widened the lockdown from Metro Manila, the capital region, to cover all of Luzon island to contain an outbreak of the novel coronavirus. So far, a total of 140 cases have been confirmed in the Philippines, with 12 deaths.
In a recorded message aired Monday evening, Duterte said, “I have come to the conclusion that stricter measures are necessary…I am placing the entire mainland of Luzon under quarantine until April 12, 2020."
Mainland Luzon will be on a strict home quarantine that the police and military will oversee, and workers must work from home to “significantly” limit movement, Duterte said.
“Everyone must stay at home, leaving their houses only to buy food, medicine and other basics necessary for survival in the coming days,” Duterte added. He also asked private companies to advance workers’ pay.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said all of Luzon is now under "enhanced community quarantine," meaning strict home quarantine in all households, suspension of transportation, and regulation of the provision of food and essential health services.