2020 coronavirus pandemic in Metro Manila

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Metro Manila
COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Metro Manila.svg
Confirmed cases in Metro Manila by local government unit (as of April 3)[note 1]
  100+ confirmed
  71–99 confirmed
  51–70 confirmed
  21–50 confirmed
  1–20 confirmed
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationMetro Manila
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseManila
Arrival dateJanuary 30, 2020
(2 months, 1 week and 1 day)
Confirmed cases1,785
Recovered115
Deaths
195
Official website
www.doh.gov.ph/2019-nCoV

The 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Metro Manila is an ongoing viral pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a novel infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), in the Philippines' capital region of Metro Manila. The first case was confirmed in Manila on January 30, 2020. By March 13, Metro Manila was reported to be the worst affected region in the Philippines with 70 percent of all cases in the country at the time.[1] A state of calamity and community quarantine have been in place in the region since March 15.[2]

As of April 6, 2020, there have been 3,660 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, 1,785 of which are residents of Metro Manila. There have also been 195 reported deaths and 115 recoveries in the region, with Quezon City, Manila and San Juan reporting the most fatalities.[3]

Background[edit]

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Philippines was recorded in Metro Manila on January 30, 2020. It involved a 38-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan, the origin of the disease, who arrived in Manila after travelling to Cebu City and Dumaguete in central Philippines from Hong Kong.[4] Three days later, the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that a second Chinese national tested positive for COVID-19, identified as the 44-year-old male companion of the first confirmed patient.[5] Both patients received treatment at Manila's San Lazaro Hospital with the latter being reported to have died from the disease on February 2, becoming the first known fatality outside China.[5] On March 6, the DOH reported the first case of local community transmission of the deadly virus, a 62-year-old Filipino man from suburban Cainta, Rizal, just east of Metro Manila, with no prior travel history to affected countries.[6] He and his 59-year-old Filipino wife were initially admitted to the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan where they were diagnosed with the virus before being transferred to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa where they both died on March 11.[7]

On March 12, 2020, following the declaration of a public health emergency, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire capital region under community quarantine for 30 days starting March 15, 2020.[8] Most areas in Metro Manila have also issued curfews to help limit the spread of the virus.[9] On March 16, an enhanced community quarantine order was issued by the president covering Metro Manila and the entire island of Luzon.[10]

Timeline[edit]

COVID-19 cases in NCR, Philippines[3]
by city/municipality of residence
Updated April 6, 2020 11:30 pm UTC+8
LGU Cases Deaths Recov.
Caloocan 51 14 4
Las Piñas 42 4 10
Makati 160 10 16
Malabon 15 4 1
Mandaluyong 106 10 11
Manila 221 30 17
Marikina 47 10 6
Muntinlupa 64 4 1
Navotas 9 2 0
Parañaque 155 14 6
Pasay 57 8 2
Pasig 105 15 13
Pateros 7 0 0
Quezon City 469 34 15
San Juan 133 24 7
Taguig 112 8 5
Valenzuela 32 4 1
Total 1,785 195 115
  • March 17
    • The Manila bourse became the first major market in the world to shut down over coronavirus fears. It suspended trading for two days following a global stock market crash which saw the main Philippine Stock Exchange index plunge more than 30 percent.[29]
    • Hundreds of commuters were left stranded as public transport came to a halt due to the government-imposed partial lockdown. Traffic jams were also reported at border checkpoints.[30]
    • The Archdiocese of Manila extended the suspension of public masses to April 14 and announced the suspension of all Holy Week activities set for April in all parishes in the region.[31]
    • Food delivery services GrabFood and Foodpanda resumed operations in the region after a temporary suspension due to quarantine restrictions.[32]
  • March 18 – Vice President Leni Robredo announced the roll out of a free shuttle service for medical personnel working in the front lines of the pandemic in the region.[33]
  • March 19 – Pasig mayor Vico Sotto announced that the city will comply with the national government directive to ban all forms of public transport during the enhanced community quarantine after initially allowing the limited operation of motorized tricycles in the city to service health workers and other essential workers.[34]
  • March 20 – The Health department has designated the Philippine General Hospital in Ermita and Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan as national COVID-19 referral hospitals in Metro Manila.[35]
  • March 24 – Makati Medical Center, The Medical City, De Los Santos Medical Center, St. Luke's Medical Center – Quezon City and St. Luke's Medical Center – Global City reported operating at full-capacity due to the pandemic and urged patients to look for alternative hospitals.[36]
  • March 25 – The national government announced a cash aid for poor families affected by the pandemic in the region amounting to ₱8,000 of monthly subsidy over two months as part of the ₱200 billion cash assistance program under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act signed by President Duterte.[37]
  • March 26 – The Department of Agriculture launched its first mobile farmers' market in the region, the Kadiwa on Wheels, in Quezon City, to ensure enough food supply amid the closure of most retail establishments due to the region-wide quarantine.[38]
  • March 28
  • March 29 – A total of 370 repatriated overseas Filipino workers from three cruise ships in Italy, a country severely affected by the global outbreak, arrived at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport.[41]
  • March 30 – Severe congestion at the Port of Manila was reported two weeks after the region was placed under lockdown with many unclaimed food cargoes and overstaying containers.[42]
  • March 31 – The Philippine National Police reported that 10,850 curfew violators have been apprehended across the region since the start of the enhanced community quarantines.[43]
  • April 1
    • Twenty-one protesters at a rally in Quezon City demanding food and aid were arrested for violating the enhanced community quarantine protocols.[44]
    • The local government of Manila reported its largest single-day increase in coronavirus infections so far with 41 new cases, bringing the city's total to 116.[45]
    • More than 800 Filipino repatriates from four virus-stricken cruise ships in the U.S. arrived at Manila's Ninoy Aquino.[46]
    • GrabWheels, an electric scooter rental service of Grab, was activated to service health workers in select cities in the region.[47]
  • April 2 – The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) chairman Carlito Galvez Jr. announced that Metro Manila remains the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in the country after 1,511 cases have been confirmed in the region, or more than 50 percent of the total confirmed cases in the Philippines.[48]
  • April 3
    • The Manila City Council approved an ordinance penalizing discriminatory acts directed against coronavirus patients and other patients under evaluation, including discrimination of health workers on the basis of their medical condition.[49]
    • The National Capital Region Police Office confirmed its first COVID-19 casualty among its ranks.[50]
  • April 4
    • Manila mayor Isko Moreno ordered the temporary closure of the Ospital ng Sampaloc after five hospital staff contracted the virus.[51]
    • Another 300 repatriated overseas Filipino seafarers from virus-hit Italy and Portugal arrived at Manila's Ninoy Aquino airport.[52]

Statistics[edit]


Response[edit]

National government[edit]

Police checkpoint near the border of Metro Manila with Meycauayan, Bulacan in Valenzuela, March 19, 2020

Before the partial lockdown on Metro Manila declared on March 12, President Rodrigo Duterte had initially suspended classes across all levels in Metro Manila from March 10 to 14 upon reaching a consensus with the Metro Manila Council (the mayors of Metro Manila) due to the rapidly increasing number of cases especially in the area.[53]

On March 12, President Duterte announced a partial lockdown covering Metro Manila, that begun on March 15 and will last until April 14. Under the partial lockdown:[54]

  • The region is closed to land, air, and sea travel. However, mass transportation within Metro Manila such as the Manila LRT and MRT continues to operate under proper social distancing guidelines.
  • Suspension of classes at all levels in Metro Manila is extended until April 14.
  • Spontaneous and planned mass gatherings are banned.
  • Work in the Executive department is suspended under the lockdown period.
  • The Department of Labor and Employment encourages employers in the private sector to arrange "flexible work arrangements".

Following the declaration of the partial lockdown, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) suspended the enforcement of the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program, more commonly known as the number coding scheme.[55] On the eve of the Metro Manila lockdown, the MMDA announced the imposition of an area-wide curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following day to be observed during the lockdown, during which only "essential movements" for the purchase of essential needs or in cases of emergency are permitted during those hours.[56] The Metro Manila Council unanimously approved the imposition of the curfew in a joint resolution. All local governments, except for Marikina and Pateros, had adopted ordinances imposing the curfew in their respective cities, effective by March 20.[57] In that joint resolution, the council also ordered the closure of shopping malls and other establishments during the lockdown.[58]

A total of 56 checkpoints were set up to man the borders of Metro Manila on the first day of the partial lockdown.[23] At 12 midnight, a total of 26,000 police and military personnel were deployed to contain the pandemic of COVID-19 in the region. Motorists were stopped randomly and asked for their identification along the borders in North Luzon Expressway, MacArthur Highway, and the National Road (Maharlika Highway). Some checkpoints lacked thermal scanners.[59]

Despite the moratorium on mass public transportation during the enhanced community quarantine, Vice President Leni Robredo launched free shuttle bus services for those individuals exempted from the quarantine, specifically health professionals, front line government officials, and essential service providers. Robredo's shuttle services travel five routes around Metro Manila, connecting the major hospitals.[60] Some city governments also deployed such transportation services.

To address concerns regarding the hoarding and panic buying of essential goods, some city governments issued ordinances to limit the amount of such goods an individual or establishment could purchase.[61][62][63]

The Department of Health has on March 20, 2020 has announced that it has designated three health facilities as COVID-19 referral hospitals namely the UP-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) in Manila, the Dr. Jose M. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium in Caloocan and the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City. The UP-PGH has stopped admitting non-emergency cases and the Lung Center has dedicated one of its wings of 40 beds for COVID-19 patients. The Philippine Blood Center likewise will not admit any suspected COVID-19 cases with the health department encouraging the public to continue donate blood for COVID-19 patients with critical and severe conditions.[64]

Vice President Robredo converted a dormitory in Cubao, Quezon City, to provide free accommodations for front line health professionals during the enhanced community quarantine.[65]

Various facilities in the metropolis are being prepared as quarantine sites for less serious COVID-19 cases. Among these are the Philippine International Convention Center, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, and the World Trade Center will be fully refurbish by April 12. The three facilities alone can accommodate around 2,000 COVID-19 patients. Other non-hospital facilities being considered as possible quarantine sites include the PhilSports Complex, Duty Free Philippines in Parañaque, Amoranto Stadium, and the Quezon Memorial Circle.[66]

Local governments[edit]

Caloocan[edit]

Caloocan Mayor Oscar Malapitan announced on March 10 the suspension of several scheduled events, namely the Miss Caloocan Pageant, Mega Job Fairs, City Development Council General Assembly, Outstanding Citizens Awards Night, and Family Day activities, to prevent the spread of the virus amongst large crowds.[67] On March 15, the Caloocan city council passed an ordinance imposing the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew agreed upon by the Metro Manila Council.[68]

Mayor Malapitan announced on March 24 that the city government would impose window hours on residents for the purchase of essential goods. Residents could only access the city's public markets between 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., while supermarkets, banks, and pharmacies can only be accessed between 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. The city would also issue quarantine passes, permitting only one resident per household between the ages of 18 to 60 years old to leave their house solely for purchasing such goods.[69]

Las Piñas[edit]

Las Piñas Mayor Imelda Aguilar declared a state of calamity in the city on March 14 after a resident was confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19[70] and on March 21, the Las Piñas government began implementing a 24-hour curfew on its residents.[71]

Makati[edit]

In response to the confirmation of residents of the Rockwell Center contracting COVID-19, Makati Mayor Abigail Binay placed the city under a state of calamity on March 15.[24]

On March 17, the Makati government launched free shuttle bus services for doctors, nurses, and other employees of the Ospital ng Makati, which runs between the hospital and certain points in the city.[72] In addition, Mayor Binay announced that tricycle drivers affected by the moratorium would receive an initial 2,000 (US$39.23) financial assistance to cover the first two weeks of the quarantine. Binay added that a similar financial compensation would be given to jeepney drivers of the city.[73]

The Makati Friendship Suites on March 25 was converted into an isolation facility by the city government to accommodate at most 100 patients suspected of COVID-19 and is equipped with x-ray machines, defibrillators, and cardiac monitors.[74]

Malabon[edit]

On March 16, the Malabon city council approved an ordinance imposing the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew agreed upon by the Metro Manila Council.[75]

On March 18, Malabon Mayor Antolin Oreta ordered the city government to provide ₱520,000 ($10,252.26) to each barangay for the provision of food during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine. Oreta also ordered the provision of ₱6 million ($118,156.44) to the city's carinderia (food stall) owners for them to provide meals for 300 people every day for 15 days.[76] That same day, he called on Maynilad Water Services to divert the unused water supply of closed malls and other commercial establishments to residential areas.[77]

Mandaluyong[edit]

On March 16, the Mandaluyong city council passed an ordinance declaring the city under a state of calamity, after reporting three COVID-19 patients, six persons under investigation, and 125 persons under monitoring in the city.[78]

On March 17, Mandaluyong Mayor Carmelita Abalos ordered the release of the thirteenth salary pay to all of the city's government employees.[79]

Manila[edit]

A ward dedicated to COVID-19 patients at the Philippine General Hospital in Ermita, Manila, March 28, 2020

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, following a directive from the Metro Manila Council, declared a state of calamity in the city on March 15 after the second and third COVID-19 cases were confirmed.[80]

A gymnasium in Manila converted into a temporary homeless shelter during the region-wide community quarantine

The Manila Department of Social Welfare (MDSW) on March 16 began rescuing street people, pavement dwellers, and other homeless people, as well as people living outside the city who were unable to retreat home following the imposition of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine. They took refuge at the Delpan Sports Complex in Tondo. Mayor Isko Moreno allocated ₱227.5 million ($4.45 million) from the city's budget to assist families affected by the quarantine. MDSW Chief Re Fugoso ordered the lockdown of the Manila Boys Town Complex and the Manila Youth Reception Center in Ermita for the protection of the children and teenagers residing there amid the pandemic.[81] Likewise Mayor Moreno on March 18 ordered all lodging facilities in Manila to provide free accommodations for front line health workers, such as doctors and nurses, throughout the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.[82]

The Manila government on March 19 deployed 189 electric tricycles to exclusively transport front line health workers to the city's public hospitals. Non-health workers would not be serviced in observance of the moratorium on mass public transportation; however, drivers of electric tricycles would receive salaries.[83]

Mayor Moreno on March 17 drafted a resolution ordering the release of the mid-year bonuses of the city's government employees. He also drafted another resolution appropriating funds for the city's job order and contractualized workers.[79]

The Manila government on March 25 also coordinated with the Department of Social Welfare and Development of the national government in sourcing food supplies for the city's families. Mayor Moreno has stressed that the Manila government could only produce between 8,000 and 11,000 food packs, but would not suffice for the city's 350,000 families. The city government had already provided for about 39,000 families.[84]

On March 23, Mayor Isko Moreno launched an online survey via his Facebook page inquiring Manila residents about their health status in relation to COVID-19 and their recent travel history. PLDT, one of the country's major telecommunications providers, assisted the city government in providing enhanced data connectivity for the online survey service. PLDT also assisted in augmenting the hotline facility at the Manila City Hall.[85]

On April 5, Mayor Isko Moreno signed an ordinance enacting the city's amelioration fund. The mayor said his government allocated ₱591 million ($12 million) for around 568,000 families, distributing ₱1,000 ($19.73) to each household.[86]

Marikina[edit]

Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro on March 16 announced that his government would install misting and decontamination tents across numerous public spaces in the city.[87] The Marikina government pledged to provide households with free disinfectant solutions.[88]

In light of the moratorium on mass public transportation during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, the Marikina government launched on March 18 free shuttle bus services to ferry front line health professionals from across the city to its hospitals.[89]

The Marikina government also launched an initiative to set up a COVID-19 testing center. On March 16, Mayor Teodoro announced that around 3,000 testing kits would be procured and that Marikina will assemble a laboratory testing center, in partnership with Manila Health Tek and the Philippine National Institutes of Health, to test "patients under investigation" (PUIs) for COVID-19.[87] Free COVID-19 testing is planned to be provided to health professionals and other suspected cases through the testing center. Field testing was scheduled to begin on March 24. The procurement of a ₱2.7 million ($53,222.42) polymerase chain reaction machine specifically for testing, along with 3,000 test kits worth ₱4 million ($78,824.72) was also announced by the city government.[90]

On March 26, Mayor Teodoro reported that the DOH rejected the usage of the city government's COVID-19 testing center because of its location, which had to be in a "separate free-standing building", but was located inside the Marikina City Health Office. Teodoro claimed that their testing center had met all the other criteria for a testing center and he even offered to cede its full operation to the DOH.[91] However, the DOH refuted the mayor's claims that they had rejected the usage of the testing center.[92] Nevertheless, Teodoro said that his government would relocate its testing center.[93]

The Marikina government designated the defunct Marikina Hotel to serve as an isolation facility for "patients under monitoring" (PUMs) with suspected diagnosis of the virus.[93]

On April 6, the Marikina City Health Office launched a telehealth medical consultation program via VSee for residents with concerns related to COVID-19.[94]

Muntinlupa[edit]

Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi oversees relief operations by the city government, March 20, 2020
Violators of the curfew are apprehended by city officials in Muntinlupa, March 24, 2020

Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi organized a COVID-19 task force on March 10. He ordered schools and government facilities in the city to be disinfected.[95]

Mayor Fresnedi ordered Muntinlupa barangay officials to identify residents with recent travel history for monitoring. He also ordered officials to install isolation facilities to accommodate suspected cases of COVID-19; the city government assembled a field hospital outside the Ospital ng Muntinlupa, which became fully operational on March 18. Police officials were deployed to prevent students from entering malls, following the suspension of classes in Metro Manila.[95]

Mayor Fresnedi placed the city under a state of calamity on March 16, after confirming its first COVID-19 case.[96] The Muntinlupa city council approved four ordinances in relation to addressing the pandemic: the first is to prevent the hoarding and panic buying of essential goods; the second is to prohibit the sale, distribution, and consumption of alcoholic beverages during the duration of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine; the third is to order the closure of all private establishments in the city, except for those providing essential goods such as supermarkets, pharmacies, and banks; and the fourth is to restrict the operation of restaurants, carinderias, and other eateries to take-out only.[61]

The Muntinlupa government launched free shuttle services for front line workers based in the city, deploying electric jeepneys.[95]

Mayor Fresnedi instructed the city's Barangay Captains them to strictly implement and enforce the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew and social distancing measures on March 19, in accordance with the national government's guidelines. A Barangay Captain also ordered the lockdown of an undisclosed subdivision in Alabang following confirmation from the DOH that two confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city are residents of that subdivision.[97]

On March 20, Mayor Fresnedi led the distribution of 1,500 food packages in Poblacion. Fresnedi assured the city's residents that the city government will provide food assistance to the city's "vulnerable households" that would last for up to three to four months. He also ordered the advanced release of the thirteenth salary pay of the city hall's employees.[98]

On March 21, Mayor Fresnedi signed into effect an ordinance passed by the city council to impose a 24-hour city-wide curfew, superseding the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.[99]

On March 24, the Muntinlupa city council passed an ordinance to convert the Ospital ng Muntinlupa into a COVID-19 testing facility. The government would procure polymerase chain reaction machines and testing kits. The city already houses the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Alabang, one of five medical facilities accredited by the DOH to perform COVID-19 testing in the Philippines.[100]

Navotas[edit]

Prior to President Duterte's declaration of a partial lockdown on Metro Manila, Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco had already suspended classes at all levels in the city for March 9 as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19.[101] Tiangco also appealed to the Department of Education to pass all students in the city for the school year.[102]

On March 13, the Navotas government issued an ordinance limiting the amount of work required for its government officials to work 10 hours per day for four days, effective March 16, in observance of social distancing guidelines.[103]

On March 15, the Navotas city council passed an ordinance imposing an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew from March 16 to April 14, as agreed upon by the Metro Manila Council. It also required commercial establishments, except for those providing essential goods, to close before the start of the curfew.[104]

On March 22, the Navotas government began distributing around 18,000 food packs to the city's informal settlers living in "danger zones" and families listed under the city's housing projects.[105]

On March 23, Mayor Tiangco announced that the city's government employees would receive ₱6,000 ($117.41) each as compensation, totaling ₱6.4 million ($125,233.22). Tiangco also announced that their quarterly bonus payment would be released in advance.[106]

Parañaque[edit]

On March 16, Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez declared the city under a state of calamity due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in nearby areas.[107]

On March 17, Mayor Olivarez declared a "total lockdown" on the city, prohibiting visitors "without official business" from entering the city's premises during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine. The "total lockdown" permits only front line offices and basic services providers to operate throughout its duration. Olivarez also requested city hall employees to go on leave.[108]

On March 19, Mayor Olivarez announced that the city's front line workers, which he identified specifically as medical personnel, drug store personnel, health workers, supermarket employees, bank personnel, business process outsourcing personnel, restaurant personnel, and city government employees, would be provided with free transportation to their different workplaces.[109] That same day, Mayor Olivarez announced that both regular and contractualized employees in Parañaque would receive their full mid-year bonuses, in addition to a ₱6,000 ($117) clothing allowance until March 23.[110]

On March 21, the Parañaque government distributed around 100,000 relief goods to 14,000 "vulnerable households" across the city.[111]

On March 23, Mayor Olivarez announced that the Parañaque government had begun imposing a 24-hour curfew to its residents.[112] The following day, a photo published by the San Isidro government circulated on social media showing alleged curfew violators in the barangay being forced to sit under the sun as penalty. Netizens have criticized the action for physical torture.[113]

Pasay[edit]

On March 16, Pasay Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano declared the city under a state of calamity due to "the extremely high incidence of COVID-19 cases in the city." The Pasay government also issued an ordinance imposing the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew agreed upon by the Metro Manila Council.[114]

On March 18, Mayor Calixto-Rubiano ordered the advanced release of the thirteenth salary pay of city hall employees, in accordance with President Duterte's call for local government units to do so.[115]

On March 19, the Pasay government announced that it collaborated with the Department of Trade and Industry to deploy food carts to roam around the city's 201 barangays and sell essential goods such as food and medicines, in order to limit the movement of its residents during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine. The Pasay government also announced that it collaborated with the Philippine Army to provide free transportation for Pasay-based health professionals and other service front liners who work outside the city, as well as persons with disabilities and senior citizens, amid the moratorium on public transportation; the government procured 100 electric tricycles and 20 Mitsubishi L300 vans.[116]

On March 24, the Pasay government ordered the installation of modular tents at the Pasay City Sports Complex and the Padre Burgos Elementary School to serve as isolation units for COVID-19 PUIs in the city.[117]

Pasig[edit]

Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto (second from the right) attends a briefing with doctors from The Medical City in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, March 20, 2020
A "mobile palengke" in operation in Pasig during the quarantine, April 2, 2020

Following the confirmation of COVID-19 patient at The Medical City in the city's district of Ortigas on March 9, Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto ordered city officials to implement the guidelines of the DOH and the World Health Organization in preventing the spread of the virus, including contact tracing, organizing response teams, disinfecting public spaces, and the cancellation of all public events and gatherings.[118] Around 500 sets of personal protective equipment were distributed by city government on March 14 to its 30 barangays. The city council also approved an ordinance imposing the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew agreed upon by the Metro Manila Council.[119]

Mayor Sotto approved the declaration of a state of claamity in Pasig on March 15 after six confirmed cases and one fatality were recorded in the city. The mayor also announced that they have ordered a mandatory isolation for the health workers of Rizal Medical Center after they were exposed to a confirmed coronavirus patient.[24]

The Pasig City Council on March 16 approved an anti-panic buying and hoarding of essential goods ordinance.[120]

Mayor Sotto appealed to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on March 17 to allow the operation of tricycles and the city's bus service to specifically transport front line health professionals and other essential service providers to the city's hospitals during the quarantine period, following the moratorium on mass public transportation.[121][122] Sotto had earlier raised tricycles fares by 50 percent following the decline in residents leaving their homes.[123] Tricycle drivers were mandated by the city government to transport a maximum of three passengers per ride in observance of the national government's social distancing guidelines.[118]

On March 18, Mayor Sotto pledged to give both regular and contractualized government employees their full salaries during the duration of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, while emergency front line workers would receive hazard and overtime pays.[124] The Pasig government also assembled sanitation tents at the entrances of the city hall and two hospitals, prepared food packages containing vitamins to be distributed to the city's "vulnerable households",[118] and purchased three octocopter drones to be utilized for disinfecting public spaces.[125]

Mayor Sotto ordered the Dahlia Hotel in the city on March 19 to be converted into a quarantine facility able to accommodate at least 300 PUMs and PUIs with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19.[118] That same day, the DILG rejected Mayor Sotto's appeal on operating tricycles in Pasig claiming it violates the national government's directives to observe social distancing measures.[126] The Pasig government responded by commissioning two electric-powered City Optimized Managed Electric Transport jeeps to transport the city's front line workers across Pasig to its hospitals.[127]

The deadlines of all tax payments, rent, permits, and other obligatory submissions were extended on March 24 by the city government for two months.[128]

Five trucks were deployed by the Pasig government on March 25 transporting loads of essential goods, such as food, to different barangays in the city, where they are sold to residents. The government labeled these trucks as "mobile palengkes", aimed at limiting the movement of people during the community quarantine. The essential goods sold to residents through the trucks are sourced from the vendors of the city's public markets "to assist them generate income." About 400,000 food packs were also distributed by the city government to Pasig residents.[129]

The Pasig government also began giving the city's jeepney, tricycle, and UV Express drivers financial assistance of ₱3,000 ($59) each for a total of ₱55.5 million ($1.1 million) starting March 30.[130]

On April 1, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) probed Mayor Sotto for allegedly violating the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act by allowing tricycles to transport the city's front line workers despite the moratorium on public transportation during the period of the enhanced community quarantine. The following day, Sotto sent a letter to the NBI seeking for clarification.[131] He claimed that his alleged violation occurred before the law had been enacted.[132]

Quezon City[edit]

On March 13, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte announced a state of calamity for the city following six confirmed cases of local COVID-19 transmissions.[133] Mayor Belmonte issued an executive order on March 15 imposing the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew agreed upon by the Metro Manila Council.[134] The Quezon City University has been used as a quarantine site for PUIs in the city. As of March 24 at least 379,000 food packs has been distributed to residents by the Quezon City government.[135]

The Quezon City government partnered with Hotel Sogo and the Rainbow Place Dormitory in Tandang Sora to provide free accommodations for service front liners, especially health professionals.[136]

On March 27, the Quezon City government imposed an executive order prohibiting the sale, purchase, and consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places during the enhanced community quarantine.[137]

The Quezon City government announced on April 4 that it would fund the efforts of the Philippine Red Cross to assemble mobile testing centers in the city to conduct "mass testing" on its residents. As of April 7, Quezon City has more COVID-19 cases than any other city in Metro Manila.[138][139]

San Juan[edit]

On March 6, the San Juan government ordered the temporary closure of a Muslim prayer hall at the Greenhills Shopping Center after a frequent visitor of the pay hall was reported as the country's fifth case of confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora also ordered the postponement of all scheduled public events in the city.[140]

On March 15, Mayor Zamora announced that the villages of Greenhills and West Crame were identified as coronavirus hotspots after four salon workers in Greenhills tested positive for the virus. Zamora thus declared a state of calamity in the city and ordered the temporary closure of all malls in the city, as well as all churches.[141] The city council had also passed an ordinance imposing the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew agreed upon by the Metro Manila Council.[24]

On March 26, Mayor Zamora announced that the San Juan government had reached an agreement with Xavier School to convert the San Juan City Science High School into a 100-bed isolation facility for COVID-19 PUIs in the city. Xavier School would assist the government in providing necessary medical equipment, medicines, and front line personnel.[142]

Taguig[edit]

On March 17, Taguig Mayor Lino Cayetano ordered a lockdown on the city after four of its residents tested positive for COVID-19; the lockdown only permits delivery vehicles of basic goods and supplies to enter and exit Taguig.[143] Cayetano also said that the city government collaborated with transportation groups and barangays to organize point-to-point transportation services for its residents to access basic supplies amid the moratorium on mass public transportation.[144]

On March 20, Mayor Cayetano warned the barangay officials of Taguig against collecting payment fees while issuing the city's health professionals and other essential workers special permits to freely roam around the city at any time during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.[145]

During the enhanced community quarantine, health workers from the Taguig health office had been distributing condoms, birth control pills, medication for tuberculosis and HIV, and vitamins for hypertension and diabetes to residents for free.[146]

Valenzuela[edit]

On March 13, the Valenzuela city council approved an ordinance prohibiting the hoarding and panic buying of essential goods.[147]

On March 15, Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian announced the cancellation of several scheduled events, namely the Top Taxpayers and Top Job Providers’ Night and Concert, Mega Job Fair, and the weekend Family Day activities in public schools, to prevent the spread of the virus amongst large crowds.[67]

On March 16, Mayor Gatchalian placed Valenzuela under a state of calamity.[148]

On March 17, Mayor Gatchalian announced that 500−700-worth of vouchers would be issued to some 75,000 Valenzuelaño families for which they could use to claim essential goods at groceries.[149] The city's government would also distribute food packages to families registered under the conditional cash transfer program.[150] Gatchalian assured the city's health professionals that they would be issued special permits for easier entry into the city borders, amid the establishment of checkpoints in accordance with the national government's directives regarding the partial lockdown.[151]

On March 19, the Valenzuela government established two centralized isolation centers to accommodate suspected cases of COVID-19 and confirmed patients.[152]

On March 25, the Valenzuela city council passed an ordinance prohibiting the sale, distribution, and consumption of alcoholic beverages during the enhanced community quarantine.[153]

Impact[edit]

A coronavirus warning sign at the entrance of The Podium mall in Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, February 29, 2020

Crime and disobedience[edit]

On March 22, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported that crime rates in Metro Manila decreased by almost 70 percent, according to data between March 15 to 20 during the implementation of the partial Metro Manila lockdown and the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine. During that period, the PNP reported only seven cases of murder, ten cases of homicide, 11 cases of physical injury (compared to 41 last year), five cases of rape (compared to 23 last year), 18 cases of robbery (compared to 50 last year), and 24 cases of theft (compared to 68 last year). The PNP attributed the decline in crime rates to the implementation of strict home quarantine measures.[154]

On April 1, 21 protesters in Quezon City were arrested for organizing a rally "without government permit." The protesters claimed that the Quezon City government failed to provide them basic necessities, especially food, during the quarantine; the Quezon City government denied the claims. The city's mayor, Joy Belmonte, ordered the release of the protesters "in the interim for humanitarian reasons" and issued them a warning instead. The PNP stated that it would file charges against the protesters as mass gatherings are prohibited under the enhanced community quarantine.[155] Senator Francis Pangilinan announced that he, his wife Sharon Cuneta, and their daughter would shoulder the ₱15,000 ($296.57) bail for each of the arrested protesters. Actress Jodi Sta. Maria stated that she would also contribute to the bail.[156]

Environment[edit]

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reported that the air quality index of different cities in Metro Manila had improved, following the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine on Luzon. The cities with the lowest amounts of inhalable coarse particulate matter (PM10) were Parañaque (7), Marikina (9), San Juan (17), Malabon (22), Taguig (32), and Pasay (43), all reporting "good" values of air quality; meanwhile, the cities of Pasig (53), Makati (54), Las Piñas (86), and Northern Caloocan (92) all reported "moderate/fair" values. The DENR collected the data after photos surfaced on social media depicting smog-free skylines of some of the aforementioned cities, which is likely a result of minimized activity due to the pandemic.[157]

Medical facilities[edit]

By March 26, eight private hospitals in Metro Manila announced that it had reached its maximum capacity to handle any COVID-19-related case. These hospitals were namely the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Alabang, Muntinlupa;[158] Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center in Santa Cruz, Manila; De Los Santos Medical Center in Quezon City; Makati Medical Center in Makati; Marikina Valley Medical Center in Marikina; The Medical City in Ortigas Center, Pasig; and both hospitals of St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City and Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.[159][160][161]

Private firms[edit]

On March 11, the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in Mandaluyong temporarily closed after one of its guests, a Singaporean permanent resident, was confirmed to have contracted COVID-19.[162][163]

Following the MMDA's imposition of an area-wide curfew during the Metro Manila lockdown, mall operators Ayala Malls, SM Supermalls, Robinsons Malls, and Vista Malls initially announced that it would shorten the operating hours of its malls in Metro Manila, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., in response.[164] However, Metro Manila city governments later passed ordinances mandating the temporary closure of malls with the exception of establishments providing essential goods and services (such as supermarkets, pharmacies, and banks) from March 16 "until further notice", in accordance with the joint resolution passed by the Metro Manila Council regarding the lockdown.[165]

Religious sector[edit]

On March 14, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila and the Diocese of Cubao announced that it would suspend the celebration of Masses and other public gatherings in all its churches "until further notice", in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.[166]

Transportation[edit]

President Duterte's March 16 declaration of a month-long enhanced community quarantine on the island of Luzon, including Metro Manila, suspended the operations of all modes of public transportation in Metro Manila.[167] The Metro Rail Transit Corporation and Light Rail Transit Authority suspended the operations of the Manila Metro Rail Transit System and the Manila Light Rail Transit System, respectively, from March 17; LRT Line 1 would resume operations on April 12, while MRT Line 3 would lift its suspension on April 13.[168]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Breakdown of confirmed cases is according to the COVID-19 Case Tracker of the Department of Health. Take note that the map may not reflect all affected localities and is primarily based on the recorded place of residence of confirmed cases. Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection may be referred to a health facility than their recorded place of residence.

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