Officials of Metro Manila, whose population swells to 15 million during daytime, have agreed to reimpose a seven-hour curfew from 10 p.m. for two weeks starting Monday, March 15.
The local government officials of the 16 cities and one town have agreed to implement a common curfew—checkpoints will be installed anew—to curb a surge in coronavirus infections in the national capital region.
There will, of course, be those exempted: Authorized persons outside the residence, workers and individuals dealing with emergencies, health workers, uniformed personnel, LGU officials on duty, employees traveling to/from work, delivery services, and transport drivers.
The people, who have started to relax and be less vigilant than 12 months back must comply with the curfew to ensure that the increasing infections and deaths, the recoveries notwithstanding, may be quickly frustrated.
The latest figures from the Department of Health before weekend suggest that nearly 608,000 have been infected, of whom almost 48,000 are active cases, while deaths have now been racing toward 13,000.
Most of these infections and deaths have been recorded in the NCR, described by some health experts as the epicenter of the coronavirus in the country. The virus is said to have metamorphosed with some variants—two of them already in the Philippines—that experts say are far deadlier than the original.
The common curfew was announced by Benhur Abalos, chief of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority during a news conference after the mayors’ meeting Thursday night.
Abalos said the Metro Manila Council, the policy-making body of the MMDA, drafted a resolution for the adoption of a common curfew after the meeting, with penalties imposed on different scales, depending on local ordinances. San Juan City, for instance, will impose P20,000 to P50,000 for curfew violators.
Before they agreed on the common curfew, the local chief executives were implementing different curfews, mostly starting at midnight but ending at different hours early on the following day.
We hope this will help hold back the virus from running riot.