Amid travel restrictions and community quarantine, fewer motorists pass Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City yesterday as people stay at home due to the coronavirus threat.
Boy Santos/ File
More cities in Metro Manila under state of calamity
Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - March 16, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — With 15 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), San Juan City was placed under a state of calamity yesterday to prevent the number of COVID-19 patients from further increasing, Mayor Francis Zamora said.

Zamora said the city council approved a resolution placing San Juan under a state of calamity to enable the local government to speedily access its calamity funds.

“This will allow us to immediately procure medicine, food, testing kits, emergency tents, ventilators and other equipment for hospitals,” he said. “Our hospital is under renovation. So we really have to focus on acquiring equipment for patients’need.”

Under Resolution No. 11 of the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, local government units are authorized to declare a state of calamity in their respective areas.

The city government identified Barangays West Crame and Greenhills as COVID-19 “hotspots.”

 Zamora said a majority of the employees of Greenhills Shopping Center live in Barangay West Crame.

He assured the public that the COVID patients are in stable condition and under strict monitoring.

“Some are in the hospitals. The others are on quarantine at home,” Zamora said.

He said four patients who work at a salon in Greenhills had tested positive for the virus, but are not residents of San Juan.

On Saturday, the Metro Manila Council enjoined the 17 mayors in the metropolis to pass their respective curfew ordinances.

Makati Mayor Abby Binay, in a video address yesterday, asked the city council to pass a resolution declaring the city under a state of calamity.

Binay said 14 residents have tested positive for coronavirus.  

She said the measure would allow local officials to use the city’s quick response fund to avert the spread of COVID-19.

Binay said the Rockwell Land Corp. confirmed that three of its tenants tested positive for the flu virus.

She also ordered the imposition of curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting today as well as the closure of bars, movie houses, gyms and other similar establishments.

In Pasig, the city council convened a special session yesterday to approve a resolution placing the city under a state of calamity.

Mayor Vico Sotto said six confirmed cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the city, with one death.

 “We traced the patients’ contacts and placed them at home quarantine,” Sotto said.

He signed an ordinance imposing curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., with exemptions for workers and those delivering essential supplies and with medical emergencies.

Violators will be asked to render community service, Sotto said.

The mayor said he is not in favor of a total lockdown in the city, adding “we will assess the crisis on a day-to-day basis.”

Several health workers of the Rizal Medical Center in Pasig have been placed under quarantine after being exposed to coronavirus.

 Manila Mayor Isko Moreno approved a city council resolution declaring the city under a state of calamity to contain the transmission of COVID-19.

The cities of Pasay and Las Piñas also declared a state of calamity. – With Ghio Ong, Rey Galupo

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