MANILA — Albay Rep. Joey Salceda on Monday suggested a one-week suspension of all work and classes in Metro Manila to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Salceda, chair of the House ways and means committee, made the proposal after new cases of the coronavirus in the country were recorded in Quezon City, Pasig and Marikina.
“During epidemics, everyone is a suspect, thus the need for isolation shock. A lockdown of NCR should not be off the table if needed to slow down transmission of COVID-19. The costs of mass community transmission far outweigh the economic losses arising from preemptive actions,” Salceda said.
Salceda said there should also be a postponement of bus trips and domestic flights, as well as the closure of railways and expressways, such as the South Luzon Expressway and the North Luzon Expressway.
“Exceptions to temporary entry ban to NCR would be food, medicines and health professionals,” he said.
He also suggested to suspend classes nationwide to slow down the virus and mitigate any potential for mass transmission.
“Zero casualty doctrine should extend to all emergencies, especially health emergencies,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has issued a proclamation formally declaring a state of public health emergency throughout the Philippines after the health department reported the first known local transmission of Covid-19.
Duterte signed Proclamation 922 on March 8 to “capacitate government agencies and LGUs (local government units) to immediately act to prevent loss of life, utilize appropriate resources to implement urgent and critical measures to contain or prevent the spread of Covid-19, mitigate its effects and impact to the community, and prevent serious disruption of the functioning of the government and the community.”
The proclamation would also facilitate the implementation of mandatory reporting, intensify government response and measures, and enforce quarantine and disease control prevention measures.
There are 10 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country and 41 patients under investigation (PUI) who are currently admitted to hospitals.
As of March 8, 2020, there are a total of 105,586 cases of Covid-19 that has spread to 101 countries.
The Department of Health has placed the country under Covid-19 Alert System to Code Red sublevel 1 to prepare national and local governments and the country’s health care providers for possible increases in suspected and confirmed cases of the disease. (PNA)