PNP: No lockdown order in Metro Manila yet
Personnel of Brgy. Ramon Magsaysay in Bago Bantay in Quezon City conduct disinfection measures in their barangay premises.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, File

PNP: No lockdown order in Metro Manila yet

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - March 12, 2020 - 3:35pm
In a latest development, President Duterte has ordered restrictions on travel to and from Metro Manila. Read that story here.


MANILA, Philippines (Updated 4:30 p.m.) — The Philippine National Police said on Thursday said it has not yet issued an order for a lockdown in the National Capital Region as government officials scramble to contain the rapid spread of the new coronavirus in the country. 

The PNP Public Information Office made the statement after a conference notice dated Thursday with agenda “Lockdown in certain areas in NCR relative to COVID-19” circulated on social media. 

“It is only the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease or the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council that can issue such an order to address the current public health emergency,” the PNP-Public Information Office said. 

It added: “Nonetheless, the PNP is continuously enhancing its preparations to address any contingency. We will update your of any development as the need arises.” 

The Department of Health earlier said that a lockdown would only become a viable strategy if Code Red Sublevel 2 is raised. The shift to a higher alert level will only be done if community transmission is established and unlinked clusters of new coronavirus cases are found.

The Philippines has so far reported 49 infections and two deaths. Health authorities announced on Wednesday the nation's second death, the first since a Chinese tourist died last month.

The World Health Organization has officially declared the virus that has infected more than 124,000 people and killed 4,500 a pandemic.

"We're deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to address the nation within the day and announce further measure to curb the risk of the burgeoning health crisis.

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