COVID-19: Philippines congressman suggests closing SLEX, NLEX, cancelling flights

A Philippines congressman has suggested putting Metro Manila on lockdown as the number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines continue to rise.

Lawmaker Joey Salceda, a representative of a district in Albay, said per an online source that local flights, bus trips to the north and south, and even operation of trains in railway systems should be put to a halt for the mean time.

This said suggestion was made after the Philippines Department of Health announced the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country has reached 10.

As of posting time, there are already 24 confirmed cases. The three latest ones are all linked to Quezon City patients.

A lockdown would mean suspension of classes and work. Salceda also wants to close the NLEX and SLEX expressways, which are gateways to Metro Manila for motorists coming from Northern and Southern Luzon, respectively.

President Rodrigo Duterte has already declared suspension of classes in Metro Manila.

Companies are also requested to have employees work from home, if possible.

The Philippines is currently under a state of public health emergency, with the DOH on a “Code Red” Alert Level 4 (sublevel 1).

Another public servant, Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco, suggested to the Philippines Department of Education that all students should be given passing grades at this point so there would be no more reason to go to school for the remainder of the school year, which normally ends around late March or early April for elementary and high school levels.