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Monday, March 16, 2020

Philippines Imposes Home Quarantine On Entire Luzon Island, Affecting More Than 50 Million People

The Philippines imposed strict home quarantine measures and a
halt on work and transport across its main island of Luzon on Monday, putting half the country’s population on lockdown in an aggressive bid to quell rising cases of coronavirus.

The government would with immediate effect compel people to remain in their homes and reliant on deliveries of food and medical supplies, while transport and work would be suspended except for essential services, Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

“The president’s ultimate goal is to save ourselves from ourselves,” Panelo said in a television interview.

The measures, if implemented fully, would be among the strictest in place in Asia, as the country grapples to contain an outbreak that has seen confirmed cases rise to 140 – from only three cases 10 days ago – with 12 deaths.

“We are the soldiers but we are also the enemy,” Panelo said in another interview. “We are enemies with ourselves. We are the carriers of the virus.”

The measures would be an expansion of a lockdown of Metropolitan Manila that came into effect at the weekend and prescribed stringent immigration curbs, bans on public gatherings, social distancing, the shutting of malls and a halt to non-essential movements in and out of the city.

The main island of Luzon is home to about half the country’s 107 million population.

[ By SCMP / Reuters ]

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