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Metro Manila Should Be On Lockdown, Lawmaker Proposes Amid COVID-19 Fears

Nothing gets out of Metro Manila except food, medicine, and health professionals, suggests lawmaker Joey Salceda.
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If everything were up to Albay Second District Representative Joey SalcedaMetro Manila would be on a tight lockdown: No one gets in or out of the region except food, medicine, and medical professionals.

The lawmaker said on Monday, March 9, that all entry and exit points in NCR such as the NLEX and SLEX should be closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Philippines. He also suggested cancelling domestic flights and railway operations to and from Metro Manila, according to a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer

Of the 10 cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, seven are in Metro Manila.

Shut Down Schools, Too

In a brief interview with reporters on March 9, Salceda bared he wants government to temporarily shut down schools.

"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." (“I want to remind government, especially now, that we need to follow the precautionary doctrine, meaning we have to do everything to prevent the disease from becoming viral),” said Salceda.

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Salceda also said that schools should be closed to prevent the spread of the virus.

“The single largest congregation or people where there can be mass transmission (of COVID-19) are the schools so it’s a no regrets option,” he said. “We can recover (from closing schools).”

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“But the people who would die if there would be mass transmission, we cannot recover that. It would be costlier and harder for our country if we will play catch up.”

The Department of Health has confirmed on March 7 that COVID-19 is now officially spreading among Filipinos in the Philippines.

However, Health Secretary Francisco Duque revealed 80 percent of COVID-19 cases are mild, indicating that people seem to have a strong resistance to the virus.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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