NCR lockdown should not be off the table to curb coronavirus spread – solon

MANILA, Philippines — One of the options to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country is a lockdown of Metro Manila, a House lawmaker suggested Monday.

In an interview with reporters, Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda said work in Metro Manila should be suspended for one week while classes in the nation’s capital region must be postponed for at least a week or until the end of the school year in April.

“Gusto ko ipaalala sa ating gobyerno lalong-lalo na sa ating bansa na kailangan natin sundin ang precautionary doctrine. Ang ibig sabihin, gawin yung lahat para hindi maging viral,” Salceda said.

(I want to remind our government to follow precautionary doctrine. It means we have to do everything so that the disease would not be viral.)

“Ang single largest na mga congregation (The single largest congregation) or people where there can be mass transmission are the schools so it’s a no regrets option, kaya natin bawiin (we can recover). Pero ‘yung tao na mamatay o magkaroon ng mass transmission, hindi ho natin mababawi ‘yun. Mas magastos at mas mahirap po para sa ating bansa kung tayo ang naghahabol, (But the people who would die if there would be mass transmission, we cannot recover that. It would be more costly and harder for our country if we will play catch up),” the lawmaker added.

Salceda also proposed for the closure of the North Luzon Expressway and the South Luzon Expressway, the North and South’s major freeways to and from Metro Manila.

Bus trips and domestic flights, as well as railway operations, should also be suspended, according to Salceda.

However, the Albay congressman said food, medicine, and health professionals should be excluded from the temporary Metro Manila lockdown.

The lawmaker then expressed fear that the country might not have the “surge capacity” should the disease become widespread, stressing the need for the government to ensure the slowdown of its transmission.

“Mas mahal sa ekonomiya kung magkaroon po tayo dito. Mas maganda pa tayo na mismo ang gumagawa kaysa naman let the virus do it to us,” Salceda said.

(It’s more costly to the economy if we would have it here. It’s better that we do what must be done than to let the virus do it to us.)

The Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday night confirmed four more cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, increasing the total number of cases in the country to 10.

The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses has named the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 as SARS-CoV-2.

Coronavirus is a family of viruses, which surfaces have a crown-like appearance. The viruses are named for the spikes on their surfaces.