The Philippine National Police will practice “maximum tolerance” in implementing the Metro Manila-wide curfew, which starts tonight, said Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. today.
All of the mayors in the National Capital Region agreed to impose the 10pm to 5am curfew, believing that doing so will curb the spike in COVID-19 cases. The majority of the new COVID-19 cases were from the region: out of 4,899 recorded yesterday, 2,360 cases were from Metro Manila. The curfew is expected to be lifted after two weeks.
“We will exercise maximum tolerance. Some of them may not be aware that effective tonight we will be implementing a uniform curfew in the entire Metro Manila,” Danao, who is responsible for overseeing police operations in the region, said in ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
He said they will “strictly” implement the wearing of face masks and face shields, and stop “non-APORs” from going out.
Since the pandemic struck, the Philippine government came up with a policy where one member of each Filipino household is designated as an APOR or “authorized person outside of a residence.” The APOR is the only person who is allowed to leave the house and buy essentials. However, with more businesses opening up, quite a number of non-APORs have been going out, even for non-essential needs.
“I hope that those who have nothing to do, those who will just gallivant, should just stay at home,” Danao said.
“We have been advising them not to break any protocols. Those who organize parties, perhaps with the one-year implementation, they already know what their violations are,” he said.
The independent OCTA Research Group has predicted that about 8,000 daily new COVID cases will be recorded in the next few days until the end of March, and 18,000 to 20,000 will be added each day in April if the reproduction rate does not go down. As of today, the Philippines has a reproduction number of 1.9 to 2, meaning that one infected person passes the coronavirus to at least two people.
The country has the second-highest number of COVID cases in Southeast Asia, with a total of 621,498 cases recorded as of yesterday, including 12,829 deaths and 560,512 recoveries. The Duterte government has started its vaccination program, the last in the region to do so.
This article, Cops to practice ‘maximum tolerance’ in enforcing Metro Manila curfew, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.