Duterte places Luzon under ‘enhanced community quarantine.’ What does this mean?

March 16, 2020 - 5:05 PM
Commuter wearing face mask
A ManilaMed staff wears a surgical face mask along the LRT-MRT connecting bridge at EDSA station amid nCoV scare. (Philstar/Deejay Dumlao)

President Rodrigo Duterte has announced that the entire Luzon region will be placed under “enhanced community quarantine” amid the rising cases of the novel coronavirus in the country.

An enhanced community quarantine would mean stricter measures to restrict movement among the public in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly pathogen.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo¬†said this would take effect “immediately.”

Based on images shared by on-the-ground reporters on social media, the enhance measure would require all of the households to be in “strict home quarantine.”

Public transportation systems like the Light Rail Transit will be suspended and there would be an increased presence of the military and police “to enforce quarantine measures procedures.”

The Palace noted that the provision for food and essential services will be regulated by the authorities.

A report from ABS-CBN mentioned that “basic necessities such as food and medicine will continue to be available” with retail stores selling these continuing operations, according to the Department of Trade and Industry.

The report added that banks will also remain open during the enhanced community quarantine.

This is different from the recently-imposed community quarantine in Metro Manila where the movement of people is “limited to accessing basic necessities and work” and the presence of state forces is only in border checkpoints.

An enhanced community quarantine would mean a “suspension of work” in general, according to Panelo.

He also said that the local government units will be in charge of delivering the food and essential needs.

Duterte previously placed the National Capital Region under a community quarantine last week in a bid to contain and prevent the virus from further spreading.

Travel restrictions were imposed among Metro Manila residents and only those who have work and health-related concerns are allowed to go beyond the borders.