Total lockdown of Metro Manila recommended

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Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año are both proposing the total lockdown of Metro Manila to prevent spread of COVID-19.

President Rodrigo Duterte is meeting with Cabinet and other officials this afternoon regarding the government’s response against COVID-19. The President is also set to deliver a public address today.

“Depende ‘yan sa pag-uusapan mamaya kung anong assessment ni Presidente. Si Secretary Año, ay ‘yan din ang inirerekomenda,” Secretary Panelo said, in a press briefing noon of March 16, regarding the recommended total lockdown.

“’Yan din ang inirerekomenda ko, because this is a matter of national survival. We have to be resigned to that fact. This is a matter of life and death,” he added.

Senator Win Gatchalian is also calling for total lockdown of Metro Manila with the number of positive cases of COVID-19 increasing on a daily basis.

He said all areas of convergence should be strictly shut, such as parks, malls, churches and other places of gatherings. He added that all public and private vehicles should strictly be barred in and out of Metro Manila to contain the virus.

“Sa kabila ng umiiral na community quarantine, nakita natin kanina ang mga manggagawa na pila-pila sa mga iba’t ibang terminal ng pampublikong sasakyan. Gusto natin ang mga tao na mag-practice ng social distancing pero pagdating sa mga terminal ng bus, UV express, at maging sa MRT ay siksikan pa din ang mga tao,” Gatchalian pointed out.

“Again, the situation calls for more drastic actions to prevent COVID-19 from spreading outside Metro Manila and anywhere in the country. Everyone’s cooperation is needed in the fight against this dreaded virus. If this means that the government must implement more stringent measures to protect the safety and welfare of everyone, then this is the bitter pill we need to swallow,” Gatchalian said.