MANILA - Some residents of illegal settlements in the Philippine capital cannot practice physical distancing to avoid catching COVID-19 due to "lack of space", Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said Thursday.
The city is the most densely populated area in Metro Manila, with 70,000 people per square kilometer, double than most of its neighbors, said Moreno.
In Manila's inner roads, bay and riverside areas, most houses are packed with 3 or 4 families, he said.
"Iyong social distancing is one of the challenges... Some of them (residents) continue to violate the quarantine and social distancing because of lack of space," Moreno told DZMM.
Manila as of Wednesday had 484 cases of COVID-19, with 30 deaths and 15 patients who recovered, according to the health department's website.
Authorities arrested residents who joined a recent illegal cockfighting match despite the lockdown. The city also locked down the Parola compound for 24 hours to test residents for the novel coronavirus after some of them joined a bingo game and a boxing match, said Moreno.
"Ang taumbayan, sana makiisa. Alam kong nayayamot na sila, nagmumukmok na sila, gusto na nila mag-normalize. Pero we have to pay the price, magkaunting sakripisyo lang," he said.
(I hope the public will cooperate. I know they're irked, feeling down, they want the situation to normalize. But we have to pay the price, sacrifice a little)