PNP ordered: Strictly impose prohibition against mass gatherings in 'bubble'

PNP ordered: Strictly impose prohibition against mass gatherings in 'bubble'
Police officers remind people to maintain social distancing and to observe other health protocols while jogging around the premises of the CCP complex in Pasay City, Manila on Saturday morning, March 20, 2021.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — As in most of its coronavirus initiatives, the national government is calling on local governments and the national police to enforce prohibitions on movement amid the implementation of the "bubble area" in Metro Manila and four provinces in Calabarzon and Central Luzon.

This comes as President Rodrigo Duterte approved tighter coronavirus restrictions to address a continued surge in cases, including the banning of mass gatherings and non-essential travel in those areas for two weeks. 

In a statement sent to reporters, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said it directed the Philippine National Police to conduct border checkpoints in restricted areas "to prevent the entry and exit of non-essential workers" and to enforce the uniform curfew hours.

"We need to tighten because COVID-19 cases have increased again. Mass gatherings put the people, their families, and communities at risk of contracting the virus. They can become super-spreader events. We therefore need everyone's cooperation on the measures that the government is imposing to prevent the spread of the virus," DILG officer-in-charge Bernardo Florece said.

As it currently stands, the PNP has already deployed some 10,000 police officers in Metro Manila to enforce the uniform curfew in the capital region. 

Over the past week of uniform curfew in Metro Manila, the Philippine National Police accosted more than 19,000 quarantine violators, 5,300 of whom were arrested.

Yet this show of force could do little as cases have since spiked to over 7,000 daily additions for the past three days. 

“LGUs should immediately deploy their COVID-marshalls, Barangay Disiplina Brigades, barangay tanods (watchmen), and other force multipliers to enforce the prohibition against mass gatherings,” Florece also said.

"We have been through this before and we were able to limit the number of cases per day. We should be able to weather this second surge with public cooperation."

Health officials recorded 7,757 additional COVID-19 infections Sunday, bringing the national caseload to 663,794.

It was the second-highest daily coronavirus addition in the country, which has been on lockdown for 370 days—good for the longest quarantine in the world. 

— Franco Luna 

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: September 18, 2021 - 4:07pm

Other regions and provinces in the Philippines considered moderate and low-risk areas will be placed under general community quarantine starting May 1. Bookmark this page for updates. (Main image by The STAR/Edd Gumban)

September 18, 2021 - 4:07pm

The Department of Health logs an additional 23,134 COVID-19 infections, the second highest daily increase in cases since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Active cases184,088 or 7.8% of the total
  • Recoveries27,024 or, bringing total to 2,126,879
  • Deaths255, raising toll to 36,583
September 17, 2021 - 4:09pm

The Department of Health authorities reports 20,336 more COVID-19 cases, pushing the national tally to 2,324,475.

  • Active cases: 188,108 or 8.1% of the total
  • Recoveries: 10,028, bringing the number to 2,100,039
  • Deaths: 310, or now 36,328 in total
August 5, 2021 - 4:55pm

With 8,127 new coronavirus infections reported Thursday, the Philippines' coronavirus tally is now at 1,627,816.

  • Recoveries: 4,343 new; 1,532,494 total
  • Deaths: 196 new; 28,427 total
  • Active cases: 66,895 or 4.1% total
August 4, 2021 - 4:10pm

Health authorities report 7,342 new coronavirus infections, pushing the Philippines' tally to 1,619,824.

  • Recoveries: 7,285 new; 1,528,422 total
  • Deaths: 90 new; 28,231 total
  • Active cases: 63,171 or 3.9% of total
August 4, 2021 - 4:09pm

The Department of Health reports 7,342 more COVID-19 infections, bringing the national tally to 1,619,824.

  • Active cases: 63,171 or 3.9% of the total
  • Recoveries: 7,285, pushing total to 1,528,422
  • Deaths: 90, bringing total to 1,619,824
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