COVID-19: Philippines coronavirus cases rise to 111 as Metro Manila begins lockdown

The number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines almost doubled over the weekend, hiking up to 111 just as its Metro Manila capital has started its community quarantine.

The Philippines Department of Health (DOH) announced over the past few days more cases of the illness. There have also been six deaths now related to the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Metro Manila is now implementing stringent measures to try and control the spread of the disease.

MRT and LRT stations are practicing a one-person apart system in both queues and inside trains.

Metro Manila malls have adjusted operating hours accordingly. Mall of Asia, for instance, will open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. only.

It was reported earlier that Metro Manila will observe a curfew, according to the MMDA, but it was later clarified that only President Rodrigo Duterte has the authoritative powers to announce a curfew.

Nevertheless, military and police forces are assigned to patrol different checkpoints placed in various Metro Manila entry and exit points like San Pedro, Laguna, and Zapote, Bacoor.

Provincial buses are also being inspected as passengers’ temperature and company IDs are being checked.

Local land, sea, and air travel to and from Metro Manila are postponed except for “essential movement,” defined as employees working in the capital region and/or delivery of goods.

Classes and even holding of public masses in the largest Catholic country in Asia have been suspended for now.