DILG: Gov’t might consider work stoppage in Metro Manila
MANILA, Philippines — The government might consider ordering temporary work stoppage in Metro Manila, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), stressing the need for drastic measures to implement the community quarantine to deal with COVID-19.
“We might come to that given that there is a public health emergency and we have to protect the lives of our countrymen. The decision has to be made by the President and by careful consideration of the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases),” Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, DILG spokesperson, said in an interview with CNN Philippines on Monday when asked if the government might consider halting work in the National Capital Region.
Currently, companies in Metro Manila have been asked to organize flexible work arrangements for their employees while the community quarantine is in effect in the area.
“Find some arrangements for them because it is going to be a nightmare. Unfortunately some of our countrymen, residents of Metro Manila, still do not understand the gravity of the situation. We have seen a rapid increase, an exponential increase in the number of confirmed cases and given that we are having a nightmare now in checkpoints,” Malaya also said.
The DILG official said IATF will reassess if the prevailing community quarantine, which exempts employees, is working.
He also acknowledged that social distancing ordered by the government is not being followed by the public in all situations.
Malaya said DILG will report to the task force the results of the first day of the implementation of the community quarantine. He added DILG’s suggestion on a total lockdown might also be brought up before the task force.
Metro Manila’s 30-day community quarantine started Sunday, March 15, and will end on April 14. It exempts workers, passengers transiting to airports for travel abroad, health personnel, authorized government officials, and those traveling for medical and humanitarian purposes, persons providing basic services and public utilities, and essential skeletal workforce in government offices.
COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 12 people in the country since the first death was recorded in February, with four more fatalities announced by the Department of Health on Sunday. So far, a total of 140 individuals have already been infected in the Philippines.
The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic since it has already infected more than 150,000 people and killed over 6,000 all over the world.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2, which outbreak started in China’s Wuhan City in Hubei province in late 2019.
People who have COVID-19 could recover since for most people, its symptoms were mild like fever and cough. But the illness could also be worse or serious for others and possibly lead to pneumonia, especially for older adults and those with existing health problems.
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