President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, March 16, declared a Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine amid the worsening threat of the novel Corona Virus 2019 (Covid-19).
The President declared the ECQ as the Department of Health (DOH) reported that 12 people have died and 142 others have been infected by the deadly virus as of March 16.
Duterte joins military, cops on front line vs. Covid-19
Just hours after delivering his public address late Monday night, Duterte visited early Tuesday morning the stranded commuters at the Valenzuela-Meycauayan boundary in MacArthur Highway to help them reach their respective destinations.
The MacArthur Highway is just one of the many roads which were blocked with checkpoints after Duterte imposed an enhanced community quarantine until April 12 to restrict people’s movement.
Malls were also closed and mass transport systems suspended to contain the spread of the new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Reports showed that commuters were crowding at the checkpoint with few, if any, vehicles plying the streets.
Duterte arrived between 4 and 5 a.m. and ordered the military and police to assist commuters affected by the enhanced community quarantine in passing the barricade.
In his public address on Monday night, he expressed a desire to join his military and police on the frontlines in responding to the Covid-19 threat should there not be enough health workers.
“Pagka wala na kasing iba, kung takot na lahat, ang papasok ang Armed Forces pati ang pulis. Sila ‘yung magdala and sabi ko nga eh kung mamatay sila (When there’s no one else to respond to Covid-19 because everyone is scared, that’s where the Armed Forces and police come). I would also like to join them para walang masabi ang tao (so that people won’t say anything),” he said.
He promised to “go out” to make some inspections but did not elaborate.
“Ako lalabas ako (I will go out). I — I — you will see me,” he said.
He also reminded all Filipinos of the collective responsibility of fighting the disease by preventing its spread such as observing social distancing.
“We all have a responsibility to fight this disease and prevent it from spreading to our fellowmen. These social distancing measures are necessary to kill the adversary,” he said.
As of Monday, there are a total of 142 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country and 12 fatalities. (PNA)