WHILE Metro Manila is on lockdown or community quarantine President Rodrigo Duterte will stay in the capital region and keep watch on government efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said yesterday.
Meanwhile the Cabinet will be holding a daily meeting to assess the virus outbreak, Panelo said.
“Yes, he announced it last night that his wife wanted him to fly back (to Davao) but he said ‘no, the face of the country is Manila and the President had to be here so I’ll be here,’” Panelo told ANC’s Dateline Philippines when asked if the President has plans to return to his hometown.
Duterte on Thursday placed Metro Manila under community quarantine, banning travel to and from the region from March 15 to April 14, citing “sustained community transmission” as basis for the drastic move.
“The President had to undertake stringent measures because he’s expecting a spike, he wants to see how effective these measures would be,” Panelo said.
“All we have to do really is observe protocols, personal hygiene, keep washing your hands… distance yourself from the person near you. That’s a very simple task to do.”
There are 52 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines as of Thursday evening. Five have died and 2 have recovered.
Duterte had taken a test for COVID-19 on Thursday, results of which will be made public after 48 hours, Panelo said. The President feels well and has not shown any symptoms of the coronavirus.