After signing the declaration of the “state of public health emergency” throughout the country less than a week ago, President Rodrigo Duterte raised Code Red Sub-Level 2 over the COVID-19 threat on Thursday. This declaration of “community quarantine” which includes class and work suspensions and restrictions on land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila that will take effect on March 15, 2020 and tentatively until April 14, 2020,and also prohibits mass gathering in any place of the country.
This decision followed after a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) members in Malacañang. So far, the Philippines has only 52 confirmed cases, including 2 fatalities. According to Duterte, “It’s just a matter of protecting public interest and public health. There is no struggle of power here; it is a matter of protecting and defending you from COVID-19.” In relation to this, the president urged the people not to panic and, as expected, just follow the orders of the government.
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- Featured image: Presidential Communications