President Duterte stated in a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) that it is too early to lockdown Metro Manila due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease outbreak on March 9.
He explained that such decision would be premature as “we have not reached that kind of contamination: “We haven’t reached that kind of contamination. There will be a time I suppose, I hope not. I hope God will have mercy on the Filipino people. It is too early for that.”
However, with the rising cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, it is possible that the decision of the President will change:
On the same day, the Albay Rep. Joey Salceda listed his proposed measures that shall be followed during the NCR lockdown. These include class suspensions, work stoppage, no bus trips, no domestic flights, and closure of SLEX, NLEX, and railways.
While waiting for the government’s decision, this begs the question, what would really happen if the lock down pushes through? Here are some possible scenarios once this happens:
According to the President, this move would be a short-term sacrifice for the Philippine economy as it would affect the importation and accessibility of various goods and necessities.
In addition, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Duque III announced that we still have to wait for further proof of “sustained community transmission” before the declaration of lockdown.
“We will have to wait until evidence of sustained community transmission is presented. That will trigger the community lockdown or community quarantine as one of the interventions,” Duque added.
As per DOH on March 11, there are 33 confirmed cases of COVID-19. As part of the precautionary measures, President Duterte cancelled classes in all levels in Metro Manila until March 14. Meanwhile the Department Of Health has declared Code Red; meaning, all hospital personnel nationwide are required to report for duty respective facilities to provide medical services.