MANILA (UPDATED) - Patients undergoing medical treatment in Metro Manila will need to present proof in order to be allowed entry in the region once the community quarantine is in effect, the head of the Department of the Interior and Local Government said Friday.
The community quarantine, implemented as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, will shut land, air and sea travel to and from Metro Manila from March 15 to April 14, except for the delivery of food and essential supplies. Metro Manila workers who live in surrounding areas will also be allowed in, officials said.
"Lahat ng naga-undergo ng medical treatment basta may medical certificate walang problema 'yan. Bibigyan natin ng priority 'yan," Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año told radio DZMM.
(Those who are undergoing medical treatment as long as they have medical certificate will have no problem, we will prioritize them.)
"'Yung mga check-up dun na lang sa kanilang kalapit na clinic at hospital para mabawasan yung binabantayan."
(Those who are seeking check-ups should go to the nearby clinic and hospital to lessen patients being monitored.)
Government's inter-agency task force is set to meet Friday to clarify protocols on who are allowed to travel to and from Metro Manila during the month-long community quaratine.
As of Thursday evening, there are 52 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines. Five have died and 2 have recovered.
The health department has raised the highest Code Red Sub-level 2 because of “sustained community transmission.”
Earlier this week, the Philippines declared a state of public health emergency and suspended classes at all levels in Metro Manila in a bid to contain the virus.
The outbreak, which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has killed some 4,900 people and infected 130,000 others worldwide, prompting the World Health Organization to declare a global pandemic.