Gov’t calls on Metro Manila malls to bar students amid COVID-19 spread

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 10 2020 02:40 PM

MANILA- Malacañang has appealed to Metro Manila mall operators Tuesday to deny entry to students during the weeklong class suspension as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

Barangay officials and police officers making rounds will call out students loitering around the metro, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said as he urged mall operators to cooperate with government’s efforts to control the spread of the virus.

“What the malls and the movie houses should do is not to allow those students. They should also cooperate,” he said.

“I’m appealing to them kasi kailangan natin magtulungan eh (we need to work together), all of us should do something. We should be creative. If I were they, they should not allow or discourage them from entering the malls or movie houses, para sa kapakanan nila 'yun eh (for their own sake),” he said.

The appeal also covers other places for mass gatherings, Panelo explained, as he noted that the purpose of the class suspension is for students to stay at home.

Duterte announced the suspension of classes in all levels in Metro Manila from March 10 to 14 to protect students from the virus after health authorities confirmed local transmission of COVID-19 in the country, including several parts of the capital region. 

The Philippines has so far confirmed 24 cases of the virus, including one fatality: a Chinese national from Wuhan City in Central China, where the virus was first reported late last year.

Duterte on Sunday placed the Philippines under a state of public health emergency to arrest the spread of the pathogen.