Philippines announces coronavirus lockdown of Metro Manila

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Workers disinfect a school following new cases of coronavirus in the city, in San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines, Mar. 9, 2020. (Reuters)
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A girl wearing a protective mask, following an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), stands on a sidewalk in Manila, Philippines, Mar. 12, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 12 March 2020

Philippines announces coronavirus lockdown of Metro Manila

  • More than 12 million people in the capital region under “community quarantine”
  • Land, air, and sea travel to Metro Manila will be suspended from March 15 to April 14

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday evening announced a lockdown of the national capital region, Metro Manila, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
“Land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila shall be suspended beginning 12 midnight on March 15, 2020 until April 14, 2020,” Duterte said.
To avoid using the term “lockdown,” the president referred to the move as “community quarantine.”
“We don’t want to use that term (lockdown) because it stokes fear. But it’s a lockdown. There’s no struggle of power here . . . it’s just an issue of protecting and defending you (the public) from COVID-19,” he said.
Metro Manila comprises 16 cities — Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan, Las Pinas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Paranaque, Pasay, Pasig, San Juan, Taguig, and Valenzuela, — and the municipality of Pateros. The region’s population is more than 12 million.
While mass gatherings will be prohibited during the period, public transport within Metro Manila will remain operational. Schools are suspended until April.
With a series of measures advised for the public and private sector, Duterte said they will be subject to daily monitoring and reassessment by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
“The crisis is very, very clear. Covid-19 is spreading all throughout the country,” the president said, as he urged members of the public not to panic and to practice social distancing.
Interior and local government secretary Eduardo Ano explained in a radio interview that while travel is being restricted in and out of Metro Manila, “it is not a total lockdown.”
“We are just restricting movement coming in and going out of Metro Manila because we want to prevent the spread of the virus,” he said, adding that those working in Metro Manila who live outside the capital region will be allowed entry.
Duterte himself was tested for the coronavirus on Thursday afternoon, as several members of his cabinet went on self-quarantine following exposure to infected individuals.
There are now 52 confirmed coronavirus cases in the Philippines. The Department of Health has raised the virus death toll to five.


Man dies in US from virus after attending ‘COVID party’

Updated 13 July 2020

Man dies in US from virus after attending ‘COVID party’

  • The party was hosted by a person infected with COVID-19, says doctor
  • Hospital nurse says the man thought the coronavirus crisis was a hoax

NEW YORK: A 30-year-old man from Texas died from the new coronavirus after attending a “COVID-19” party hosted by an infected person, a doctor has revealed, underlining the risk to younger people.
Jane Appleby, chief medical officer at the Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, said the man thought the virus was a hoax, despite it killing more than 135,000 people in the United States so far.
“Someone will be diagnosed with the disease, and they’ll have a party to invite their friends over to see if they can beat the disease,” Appleby said in a video broadcast by US media on Sunday.
“One of the things that was heart-wrenching that he said to his nurse was, ‘You know, I think I made a mistake.’
“He thought the disease was a hoax. He thought he was young and invincible and wouldn’t get affected by the disease.”
Appleby said young patients often do not realize how sick they are.
“They don’t look really sick. But when you check their oxygen levels and their lab tests, they’re really sicker than they appear,” she said, calling on people to take the risks seriously.
The Trump administration on Sunday again pressed for full school reopenings in the fall, even as resurgent coronavirus infections — many of them blamed on younger people — and a record spike in cases in Florida raise further questions about the country’s efforts to quell the disease.
The United States has by far the world’s highest caseload and number of deaths.