President Duterte orders lock-down of Philippine capital Manila to fight Corona Virus outbreak

The president's sweeping lockdown applies to 12.8 million people in the Philippine capital.

Covid-19 infections in the country have more than doubled in one week to at least 52 cases. He said Manila may take up Beijing's offer if the situation deteriorates.

President Duterte is being tested for the coronavirus as 2 of his officials go into self-quarantine. They had been in contact with an infected person.

On March 13, a Filipino diplomat who works at the UN tested positive for Covid-19. The woman is the first known case at the world body's New York headquarters.

The Philippine will also ban large gatherings and extend school closures for another month. Travellers from areas reporting local transmission of Covid-19 are now banned. Filipinos also can't travel to countries and regions with such cases.

President Duterte warned that those violating the rules could face imprisonment.

"For Manila, ayaw naming gamitin yan, pero kasi takot kayong sabihing lockdown, but it's a lockdown. There is no struggle of power here, walang away dito, walang giyera. It's just a matter of protecting and defending you from Covid-19." President Duterte said on Thursday night.

Credits: South China Morning Post | YT Channel

Credits: South China Morning Post | YT Channel

Credits: South China Morning Post | YT Channel

The measures echo those taken in China's central Hubei province, whose nearly 60 million resident has been under lockdown since late January when the government rushed to put a lid on the virus that first emerged in the regional capital, Wuhan.

Italy also declared a lockdown for its entire 60 million of the population on March 10, 2020.

As of March 12, the Philippines has recorded a total of 52 cases. The virus has infected more than 125,000 people and killed 4,600 across 115 countries. More than 62,000 people have recovered from the virus.

The President also announces class suspension for all levels in Metro Manila until April 12.

Credits: Rappler | YT Channel

Land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila will also be suspended from March 15 until April 14.

President Duterte also clarifies travelers from countries with confirmed coronavirus cases will be banned from entering the Philippines but Filipino citizens, their dependents, permanent Philippine residents, and diplomats will be allowed entry.

Credits: Rappler | YT Channel

He also thanks Chinese President Xi Jinping in his address saying he knows China will help the Philippines amid the crisis.

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