The Philippine government has restricted travel to and from Metro Manila starting on March 15 as part of the community quarantine to control the spread of COVID-19.
"Land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila shall be suspended after beginning March 15, 2020 and to end on April 14, 2020, alas dose subject to the daily review of the Inter-Agency Task Force," President Rodrigo Duterte said in a televised address on Thursday night.
“The crisis is very, very clear,” Duterte said, following a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Duterte urged the people not to panic, follow the orders of government and practice social distancing.
“Do not kill yourself with worry. Government is doing everything to make it at least controllable,” he said.
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Duterte’s latest policy pronouncement came after several administration officials and senators announced that they have self-quarantined following exposure to persons who tested positive for the disease.
A number of government agencies have also suspended work to give way to the disinfection of their offices.
Since the virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December, the number of confirmed infections globally surpassed 118,000. Fifty-two of these cases have been recorded in the Philippines.
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The virus has already killed more than 4,200 people, including two in the Philippines, which is now under a state of public health emergency.
The World Health Organization declared on Wednesday the viral outbreak a pandemic.
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This article is written up in support to spread awareness for COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.